Central Visayas inflation drops to 2.5%

Central Visayas inflation drops to 2.5%
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INFLATION in Central Visayas declined to 2.5 percent in January 2024 from 3.9 percent in December 2023, according to the latest data from the statistics office.

The Summary Inflation Report in Central Visayas Consumer Price Index released on Feb. 8, 2024 also showed that Central Visayas’ latest inflation rate marks a significant decrease from the rate in the same period last year, when the inflation rate was 7.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the country’s headline inflation, or the overall inflation, also decelerated, dropping to 2.8 percent in January 2024 from 3.9 percent in December 2023; this represents a moderation from the higher rate of 8.7 percent recorded during the start of 2023.

Inflation rates across all regions decreased last month compared to in December 2023. Regions 1 (Ilocos Region) and 2 (Cagayan Valley) reported the lowest inflation rates at 1.5 percent, while Region 11 (Davao Region) saw the highest inflation at 4.4 percent in January 2024.

Inflation rate, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said, is equivalent to a decline in the purchasing power of the peso. It is the change in the Consumer Price Index over a specific period of time, usually a month or a year.

The PSA report pointed to several key factors driving this downward trend of regional inflation.

Key factors

PSA 7 reported that the down­trend in regional inflation in January 2024 was mainly brought about by the lower year-on-year growth rate of food and non-alcoholic beverages.

In Central Visayas, the year-on-year growth rate of food and non-alcoholic beverages dropped to 2.2 percent in January 2024 from 5.5 percent in December 2023.

Additionally, a lower inflation rate in the indices of transport and education services also contributed to the decrease. The inflation rate in transport declined to 0.5 percent in January 2024 from 3.8 percent in December 2023 while the inflation rate in education services decreased to 0.9 percent from 1.5 percent in December 2023.

Further contributing to the moderation in inflation were decreases observed in several commodity groups during the month.

Lower inflation rates were observed in alcoholic beverages and tobacco (from 10.4 percent to 10.2 percent); clothing and footwear (from 2.6 percent to 2.4 percent); furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (from 3.3 percent to 3.2 percent); health (from 4.6 percent to 4.5 percent); financial services (from 0.0 percent to -0.2 percent), and personal care and miscellaneous goods and services (from 4.5 percent to 4.4 percent.)

However, amid these decreases, certain commodity groups witnessed faster annual increments during the month.

Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels increased to two percent from 1.7 percent, while recreation, sport, and culture rose to 3.7 percent from 3.6 percent.

Additionally, restaurants and accommodation services saw an uptick to 4.3 percent from four percent. Meanwhile, information and communication maintained its previous month’s annual rate of 0.3 percent.

PSA 7 said the top three commodity groups contributing to the 2.5 percent regional inflation in January 2024 are food and non-alcoholic beverages (34.1 percent share or 0.85 percentage point), followed by housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, accounting for a 19.2 percent share or 0.48 percentage point, and restaurants and accommodation services with 15.6 percent share or 0.39 percentage point.

Food inflation

Meanwhile, the food inflation in the region eased to 2.1 percent in January 2024 from 5.6 percent in December 2023. The region’s food inflation rate was higher in January 2023 at 7.5 percent.

Lower annual growth rates were observed in fish and other seafood, vegetables, fruits, corn, oils, fats, and ready-made food products. Rice, flour, meat, and dairy products saw increased year-on-year growth rates.

Food contributed 29.7 percent to overall inflation, with cereals, dairy, and meat being the primary contributors.


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