The Daily Manila Shimbun


May inflation eased to 3.1 percent from 3.4 percent in April

June 6, 2017

The inflation rate for May eased to 3.1 percent from 3.4 percent in April due to slower price adjustments in food and non-food commodities, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Tuesday. Inflation for the food and non-alcoholic beverages subgroup eased to 3.8 percent from the previous month’s 4.2 percent. This is due to slower price adjustments in vegetables, fish, oils and fats, as well as sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) said in a statement. A slowdown in  prices of vegetables is due resilience of crops in northern Philippines that withstood unfavorable weather and frost earlier this year, NEDA said. Other food commodities like fruits, meat and rice recorded faster price increases in May.  Rice inflation accelerated to 2.4 percent. “These trends bear watching, given the significant impact of food prices on the poor. The amendment of domestic laws to reflect the expiry of the WTO waiver on rice quotas should also be pursued,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia. Non-food inflation slowed to 2.5 percent from 2.7 percent in April. This was driven by slower price adjustments for clothing and footwear, furnishing, household equipment, health, transport, communication, and recreation and culture. This follows slower year-on-year increase in domestic petrol prices during the period. Slower inflation was recorded for unleaded gasoline, diesel, kerosene, and LPG in May 2017 relative to the previous month. Pernia said overall economic outlook remains optimistic considering recent international and domestic developments. “On the external front, growth prospects for the global economy have improved, and the expected recovery of international trade should provide ample supply of commodities to support domestic production,” said Pernia. He added that neutral weather conditions are likely to prevail over potential recurrences of El Niño or La Niña, based on the latest outlook of PAGASA and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society. This could lead to increased production of agricultural products, especially palay and corn, he said. DMS