Inflation surges to 8.7% in Jan, highest since Nov 2008 – PSA

The increase in rent and food items such as onions cause inflation to surge to 8.7 percent in January, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

On Tuesday, National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa said inflation in January was the highest since November 2008 when inflation clocked in at 9.1 percent.

Core inflation, which excludes certain highly volatile food and non-food items, posted a 7.4 percent growth. Mapa said this inflation rate was the highest since April 1999 when inflation reached 7.6 percent.

The inflation experienced by the poorest Filipinos experienced even higher inflation at 9.7 percent. This was the highest since March 2009 when inflation experienced by the Bottom 30 percent of households reached 12.2 percent.

In order to address inflation, National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said the government has identified measures to keep food price movements consistent with the government’s inflation and food security objectives.

He said short-term measures include augmenting supply such as through temporary easing of import restrictions, price monitoring, and targeted social support.

In the medium to long term, the priority consists of ensuring food security through higher agricultural productivity and ensuring energy security by pursuing the energy transition and development program.

“Our measures are meant to balance the interests among local food producers, consumers, and the overall economy,” Balisacan said.

“As laid out in Chapter 5 of the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, a whole-of-society approach is crucial in modernizing agriculture and agribusiness, with both the government and private sector working hand-in-hand to enhance the efficiency of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries production,” he added.

Image credits: Jun Pinzon/Dreamstime


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