WITH cheaper food items, the poorest Filipinos experienced the slowest increase in commodity prices in nearly two years, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
In the latest Consumer Price Index for the Bottom 30% Income Households, PSA data showed inflation eased to 4 percent in June 2019. This was the slowest since December 2017 when inflation for the poorest was at 3.7 percent.
In the January-to-June period, PSA data showed inflation for the poorest averaged 4.7 percent. This was slower than the 5.8 percent average in the same period in 2018.
“The annual increase of the food index in the country slowed down to 3.9 percent during the month. Food inflation in May 2019 was noted at 4.3 percent and in June 2018, 6.2 percent,” PSA said.
Data showed the 3.9-percent food inflation was the same rate it posted in April. This remains the slowest food inflation posted since this year and last year.
PSA data also showed food inflation was the slowest in the National Capital Region at 1.2 percent. In Areas outside of NCR (AONCR), food inflation was at 3.9 percent, the slowest in 2018 and 2019.
It may be noted that inflation for rice was at 0.9 percent in June nationwide. There was a decrease in rice prices in NCR by 4.4 percent but in AONCR, price increases slowed to 0.9 percent.
Fish prices slowed to 7.6 percent in June 2019, from 7.8 percent in June 2018 nationwide while meat prices only averaged 1.9 percent this year from 2.4 percent last year.
“Inflation for the poorest eased to 4 percent, the slowest since December 2017 when it was at 3.7 percent.
Average inflation experienced by the Bottom 30 percent in the first semester of 2019 was at 4.7 percent, already slower than the full-year 2018 figure of 7.2 percent,” PSA said.
Previously, National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said the poorest Filipinos are very sensitive to food prices, and this may be explained by the difference in the inflation felt by all households versus the inflation experienced by the bottom 30 percent or the poorest Filipinos.
The weight of food in the basket of goods used to compute inflation experienced by the poorest 30 percent is 70 percent—against 39 percent for all households.
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