MANILA—Inflation rate in September 2013 remains manageable and below target despite recorded increases in food prices during the period, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

This statement came after the National Statistics Office (NSO) reported that headline inflation rate in September 2013 accelerated to 2.7 percent, from 2.1 percent in August 2013, but lower than 3.8 percent in September 2012. Inflation rate is the percent increase in the prices of goods and services commonly purchased by households, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan explained that the uptick in overall consumer prices was due to higher prices of major commodity groups, particularly food and non-alcoholic beverages; alcoholic beverages and tobacco; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; and health.

“From January to September 2013, headline inflation rate averaged at 2.8 percent, still below the low-end target of 3.0 to 5.0 percent set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee for 2013,” he said.

Balisacan, who is also NEDA Director-General, stressed that despite the rise in price indices of rice due to the lean season, inflation in the food subgroup remains stable at 2.5 percent.

In Metro Manila, the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics reported higher prices of commercial regular milled, commercial well milled, and commercial premium rice.

Despite weather disturbances that hit major vegetable-producing areas in the Northern and Central parts of Luzon last month, prices of vegetable were subdued and even recorded a deeper year-on-year contraction of 3.7 percent during the period.

The price of non-food items in the consumer basket of goods and services also recorded a slight increase of 1.8 percent in September 2013, from 1.2 percent in August 2013.

In the National Capital Region (NCR), prices picked up to 1.1 percent in September 2013 from a contraction of 0.1 percent in August 2013.

In areas outside NCR, on other hand, headline inflation marked up to 3.1 percent in September 2013 from 2.7 percent in August 2013, but lower than 3.7 percent in the same period a year ago.

Neighboring countries in the ASEAN region registered mixed adjustments in headline inflation in the last two months.

Relative to the preceding month, the year-on-year headline inflation slowed down for Thailand and Indonesia. In August 2013, headline inflation accelerated year-on-year in Singapore but decelerated in Malaysia.