Central Visayas inflation rises to 3.2% in March

Central Visayas inflation rises to 3.2% in March
SunStar File/Amper Campaña

THE inflation rate of Central Visayas increased to 3.2 percent in March 2024 and may increase further in the next months, according to a top official of the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) 7 on Friday, April 12, 2024.

PSA 7 Director Ariel Florendo told reporters that March’s inflation rate was higher than the 2.7 percent logged in February 2024, and 2.5 percent in January 2024.

The country’s headline inflation rate increased to 3.7 percent in March, up from the previous month’s 3.4 percent.

Despite this increase, the average inflation rate for the first quarter of 2024 stands at 3.3 percent, well within the government’s targeted range of two to four percent for the entire year.

The uptick in Central Visayas’ March inflation rate was influenced by the 4.1 percent hike in food and non-alcoholic beverages, up from 2.9 percent in February, and the 4.7 percent uptick in health, from 4.5 percent in February.

Based on the trend, Florendo warned that the inflation rate in the region may increase in the next month due to the El Niño weather phenomenon and the increasing rice prices due to potential low yield because of water scarcity.

Inflation is the gradual rise in prices of goods and services that reduces the purchasing power of a currency.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages (50.5 percent), including restaurant and accommodation services (12.7 percent) and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (8.4 percent), were the main contributors to the regional inflation under the commodity group.

Food inflation in Central Visayas accelerated to 4.2 percent in March from 2.9 percent in February. The main driver for the upward trend was the slower year-on-year decrease in vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses index at 9.5 percent in March from 20.9 percent in the previous month.

In addition, the meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals index recorded a faster annual increase of 8.2 percent during the month from 7.6 percent in February 2024. Cereals and cereal products, which include rice, corn, flour, bread and other bakery products, pasta products and other cereals, also increased to 9.3 percent during the month from 9.2 percent in February.

On the contrary, lower inflation rates were observed in the following commodities: alcoholic beverages and tobacco declined to 9.4 percent from 10 percent; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels to 1.1 percent from 1.6 percent; and transport to 1.7 percent from 1.8 percent.

Other commodities, on the other hand, retained their February 2024 rates such as clothing and footwear at 2.3 percent; furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance at 2.9 percent; information and communication at 0.3 percent; recreation, sport and culture at 3.8 percent; education services at 1.4 percent; restaurants and accommodation services at 4.4 percent; financial services, at -0.2 percent; and personal care and miscellaneous goods and services at 4.7 percent. / EHP WITH KOC


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