Inflation eases in June but food prices continue to rise

Inflation eases in June but food prices continue to rise
SunStar File/Erwin P. Nicavera

THE Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) announced on Friday, July 5, 2024, that the country’s inflation slowed down to 3.7 percent in June this year, a decrease from the 3.9 percent rate recorded in May 2024.

However, food and non-alcoholic beverage prices continued to rise, with a 6.1 percent annual increase compared to 5.8 percent in May, according to PSA Undersecretary Dennis Mapa.

This brought the average inflation rate for the first six months of the year to 3.5 percent.

The main drivers behind the lower inflation rate were slower increases in the cost of electricity, fuels, water, and housing, and lower transport costs.

The index for food and non-alcoholic beverages showed a higher annual increase.

"Food inflation at the national level rose to 6.5 percent in June 2024 from 6.1 percent in May 2024. In June 2023, food inflation was higher at 6.7 percent," PSA said.

Despite the increase in food prices, the June inflation rate remained within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) forecast range of 3.4 percent to 4.2 percent and the government's target of two percent to four percent.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel items, stood at 3.1 percent in June.

The BSP maintained interest rates steady in its June meeting, noting that the balance of risks to inflation has shifted to the downside for 2024 and 2025.

The central bank has been keeping monetary policy tight in an effort to control inflation. (Rachel Gabiola, NWSSU intern)

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