MANDAUE CITY had the highest inflation rate among highly urbanized cities and provinces in Central Visayas in December last year after registering a 7.7 percent inflation rate.
This is according to the Philippines Statistics Authority Central Visayas (PSA 7) during its information dissemination press conference on the December 2023 Inflation of Central Visayas on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024.
Inflation is the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising, according to PSA 7 Director Ariel Florendo.
He pointed out that the recorded inflation rate of Mandaue City for December was higher than the rate recorded in November of the same year, which was 7.1 percent.
Besides Mandaue City, other areas also experienced higher inflation rates in December. These were Negros Oriental, which recorded an inflation rate of 5.6 percent, up from 5.4 percent the previous month; Bohol at 5.2 percent (from 4.6 percent); Cebu at 2.1 percent (from 1.9 percent) and Cebu City at four percent (from 3.9 percent).
Meanwhile, the province of Siquijor saw a decrease in inflation rate to 5.3 percent from 5.7 percent in November as well as Lapu-Lapu City with an inflation rate of 4.3 percent from 4.6 percent in November.
Central Visayas inflation
Inflation rate in Central Visayas experienced a marginal uptick, reaching 3.9 percent in December 2023, compared to the 3.8 percent recorded in November.
This brings the regional average inflation for the entire year, at 5.1 percent, which is lower than the 6.6 percent recorded in 2022.
The region’s inflation rate in December 2022 was at 8.5 percent.
Florendo noted that Central Visayas ranks as the eighth lowest in terms of inflation rate among the 17 regions in the country.
He added that Cagayan Valley still recorded the lowest inflation rate for the third consecutive month at 1.6 percent, while the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao recorded the highest inflation at 6.2 percent during the month.
Meanwhile, the country’s headline inflation, or overall inflation, decreased to 3.9 percent in December 2023 from 4.1 percent in November 2023. This signifies the third consecutive month of deceleration in headline inflation and represents the lowest rate in the past 12 months.
The national average inflation from January to December 2023 stands at six percent, contrasting with the higher rate of 8.1 percent recorded in December 2022.
The PSA 7 chief indicated that the subsequent moderation in inflation points to a shift in economic dynamics within the region over the past year.
Florendo highlighted that the upward trend in regional inflation in December 2023 was mainly driven by the higher year-on-year growth rate of the transport sector, increasing to 3.8 percent in December from 1.5 percent in November 2023.
The food and non-alcoholic beverages index, with a higher inflation rate of 5.5 percent in December 2023 compared to 5.3 percent in November 2023, also contributed to the upward trajectory of regional inflation.
Florendo explained that while their agency is dedicated to collecting and analyzing this data, he emphasized that the fluctuation in figures in Central Visayas can be attributed to the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, economic movements during the holiday season, and ongoing conflicts in various parts of the world, all of which impact fuel prices.
The state statisticians expressed hope that government agencies would consider the current inflation rate and accord it due importance during policy making and program development.
“The government is monitoring prices in the basket market, which includes a variety of commodities — in our case, 30 commodity groups. This information itself will assist them in formulating policies and programs, helping them determine necessary adjustments,” he said.