Philippines: Inflation rises in May to highest level since November 2018
Consumer prices recorded 0.53% growth over the previous month in May, which was lower than April’s 0.98% increase.
Inflation rose to 5.4% in May from April’s 4.9%. May’s reading represented the highest inflation rate since November 2018. Meanwhile, the trend increased, with annual average inflation coming in at 3.9% in May (April: 3.8%).
Official core inflation figures were not published due to the recent rebasing of the consumer price index.
Analysts at EIU said:
“In May, food price inflation accelerated […]. While local weather conditions and local outbreaks of African swine flu played a role, high import prices of diesel and animal feed remain the key underlying drivers. Similarly, transport fees rose […] because of higher oil prices. By contrast, CPI categories that are indicative about consumers’ willingness to spend on nonessentials, such as clothing and footwear and restaurants and accommodation services, show little inflationary pressures.”
Commenting on the outlook for monetary policy, analysts at ING said:
“Incoming Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Medalla [has] turned hawkish, signalling rate hikes at the next two meetings while leaving the door open for further rate hikes for the rest of the year.”