November 5, 2019

The National Economic and Development Authority expects 2019 full-year inflation to settle within the government’s target of 2.0 to 4.0 percent as inflation continued to decelerate for the fifth straight month in the year.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported today that the country’s headline inflation eased to 0.8 percent in October 2019, the slowest rate in 3.5 years. This also brings year-to-date inflation to 2.6 percent.

Weaker non-food inflation and partly base effects drove the subdued outturn, coming from 6.7 percent in the same period last year.

Food and non-alcoholic beverages deflation continued for the second consecutive month at 0.9 percent in October 2019, a sharp reversal from the 9.4 percent inflation recorded last year.

Rice deflation was observed for the sixth consecutive month, dropping further to -9.7 percent in October 2019 from -8.9 percent in September.

“The government has been driven and focused in its anti-inflationary efforts this year. We hope to further keep inflation manageable and within the government’s target,” said NEDA Officer-in-Charge (OIC) and Undersecretary for Regional Development Adoracion M. Navarro.

She also said that although the government welcomes the easing of inflation, the country must be on the lookout for upside risks such as cases of African Swine Fever (ASF), which have been observed so far in Rizal, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Cavite, and Quezon City.

“The livestock industry in the said ASF-stricken areas, which accounts for 21.7 percent of the country’s total hog production last year, remains at high risk. The government and private companies must collaborate to manage, contain, and control the spread of the disease,” Navarro added.

The NEDA official also mentioned that meat processing plants need to be more stringent, stricter biosecurity measures must be enforced, and quarantine checkpoints and disinfection facilities must be expanded and placed in key gateways such as seaports, airports, and expressways.

Navarro is currently the OIC of NEDA while Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia is on official travel abroad.