Philippines Inflation Slows to 18-Month Low in January


Philippines annual inflation rate eased to 2.4 percent in January of 2015 from 2.7 percent in December, as cost of utilities and transport declined while prices of other major categories slowed. It is the lowest rate since August 2013.

Year-on-year, cost of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels in January fell by 2.1 percent, following a 1.6 percent drop in December while cost of transport decreased by 1.3 percent, following a 1.0 percent fall in the preceding month.

Prices also slowed for: heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages (+5.4 percent in January from 5.5 percent in December); clothing and footwear (+3.2 percent from +3.5 percent); furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance (+2.4 percent from +2.6 percent); health (+2.7 percent from +3.1 percent); communication (+0.0 percent from +0.1 percent); recreation and culture (+1.2 percent from +1.4 percent) and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services (+1.6 percent from +1.8 percent). Meanwhile, cost of education in January remained stable from the previous month at 5.1 percent.

The food alone index eased to 5.6 percent in January from 5.7 percent a month earlier with annual increase in all of  food groups were slower except for fish, fruit and vegetables.

Core inflation decelerated further to 2.2 percent year-on-year in January, as compared to a 2.3 percent increase in December.

For 2015, the country's central bank targeted inflation at 2 to 4 percent.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices accelerated 0.4 percent, following a 0.2 percent drop in December. Prices increased for food and non-alcoholic beverages (+0.7 percent); alcoholic beverages and tobacco (+0.6 percent); clothing and footwear (+0.4 percent); health (+0.4 percent); furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance (+0.3 percent) and recreation and culture (+0.1 percent). In contrast, cost of miscellaneous goods and services slowed to 0.1 percent while prices of transport and utilities declined by 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent respectively.

Philippines Inflation Slows to 18-Month Low in January


National Statistics Office l Rida Husna l rida@tradingeconomics.com
2/5/2015 3:59:34 AM