Philippines Inflation Rate Slows to 10-Month Low of 4.4%


The Philippines' annual inflation rate eased to a 10-month low of 4.4 percent in January of 2019 from 5.1 percent in the previous month. The latest reading was slightly below market estimates of 4.5 percent, amid a marked slowdown in cost of food and transport.

Year-on-year, prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 5.6 percent in January 2019, noticeably slower than a 6.7 percent rise in December 2018 and marking the lowest food inflation since February. In addition, cost rose at a softer rate for: alcoholic beverages and tobacco (16.1 percent vs 21.7 percent in December); clothing and footwear (2.5 percent vs 2.8 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (4 percent vs 4.1 percent); health (4.3 percent vs 4.8 percent). Also, cost of transport went up 2.5 percent, much less than a 4 percent rise in a month earlier. In addition, cost of education continued to fall (-3.8 percent, the same as in December). On the other hand, inflation was steady for: communication (at 0.4 percent); recreation and culture (at 3.2 percent); and restaurants and miscellaneous goods and services (at 4.3 percent); while cost of furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance rose slightly faster (3.9 percent vs 3.8 percent). 

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose by 0.1 percent in January, after a 0.4 percent fall in December 2018. It marked the first monthly increase in three months, as cost went up for: alcoholic beverages and tobacco (0.2 percent); clothing and footwear (0.1 percent); housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (0.2 percent); furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance (0.3 percent); health (0.2 percent); recreation and culture (0.2 percent); and restaurants and miscellaneous goods and services (0.3 percent), while was flat for: food and non-alcoholic beverages; and education. In contrast, cost of transport dropped 0.7 percent.

The central bank set an inflation target range of between 2 to 4 percent from 2018 to 2020.

Philippines Inflation Rate Slows to 10-Month Low of 4.4%


PSA l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com
2/5/2019 7:35:26 AM