December 5, 2017

Lower food prices slowed inflation in November 2017 following four consecutive months of acceleration, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

Based on a report of NEDA-attached agency Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), headline inflation rate for November reached 3.3 percent, lower than 3.5 percent recorded the previous month.

“Inflation during the last eleven months suggests that the full year average might settle slightly above midpoint, but will still be well within our target of 2 to 4 percent. This already considers expected price spikes owing to holiday season spending this December,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia.

Inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages eased to 3.2 percent in November 2017, lower than October’s 3.6 percent. This was the lowest rate recorded since October 2016.

This can be attributed to lower prices of vegetables, sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery, fruits, oils and fats, and rice.

“We are starting to see year-on-year price declines for ampalaya, cabbage, carrots, tomato, white potato, and imported garlic in the National Capital Region. This signifies that supply is starting to stabilize again,” the Cabinet official said.

Meanwhile, non-food inflation slightly increased to 3.3 percent in November 2017 from the previous month’s 3.2 percent.

“Over the near term, we still expect risks coming from both domestic and external fronts,” Pernia said.

On the external front, he said higher international crude oil prices is anticipated following oil production cuts from OPEC until end 2018.

On the domestic front, higher electricity rates and increasing coal and domestic fuel prices will also continue to exert pressures on headline inflation in the near term.

“Overall, however, the inflation outlook for full year 2017 remains supportive of the current economic growth momentum of the country,” Pernia said.