MANILA – Headline inflation remained stable at 2.6 percent as most commodity groups recorded slower growth of prices in May 2013, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). 

“The stable general inflation rate in May 2013 relative to the previous month was a result of the slower price increases of major commodity groups counterbalancing the higher growth in prices of selected food items and lower cutbacks in domestic petroleum prices,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan. 

The headline inflation is of the same rate as in April 2013 but lower compared to the 2.9 percent rate in May 2012. 

“This still leads us to an average inflation rate of 3.0 percent for the first five months of 2013, exactly at the low-end of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC)’s inflation target of 3.0 to 5.0 percent for 2013,” the Cabinet official said. 

Slower growth in prices was recorded for major commodity groups such as alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics (31.1% from 31.4%); clothing and footwear (3.5% from 4.2%); furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house (3.7% from 4.0%); health (2.7% from 3.1%); communications (0.1% from 0.3%); recreation and culture (1.7% from 1.8%); and restaurants, miscellaneous goods and other services (2.3% from 2.7%). 

“The inflation rate of alcoholic beverages and tobacco remained elevated at 31.1 percent owing to the lingering effects of higher sin taxes that took effect early in the year. However, this rate was marginally lower than the previous month’s 31.4 percent,” explained Balisacan, who is also NEDA Director-General. 

Meanwhile, core inflation, which excludes selected volatile food and energy prices, further eased to 3.0 percent in May 2013. This is slower relative to the 3.1 percent in April and 3.7 percent recorded in May 2012. The average core inflation from January to May 2013 tallied at 3.4 percent. 

Headline inflation in the National Capital Region (NCR) increased to 1.8 percent in May 2013. This is higher by 10 bps (basis points) compared to 1.7 percent in April 2013, even though lower compared to the 2.3 percent rate in May 2012. 

Similarly, the inflation rate in Areas Outside NCR at 2.9 percent in May 2013 was marginally higher compared to previous month’s 2.8 percent, although slightly lower than the 3.1 percent rate in May 2012.