Philippines: Lower headline inflation in November signals easing price pressures going forward
December 5, 2018
Consumer prices fell 0.2% over the prior month in November, contrasting the 0.3% increase logged in October. November’s reading marked the biggest drop in prices in nearly three years. The decline came on the back of lower prices for 2 of the 11 components of the index: food and non-alcoholic beverages; and housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels. On the other hand, prices roses in the 9 other categories, with transport; alcoholic beverages and tobacco; and restaurants and miscellaneous goods and services posting the strongest month-on-month price gains.
Inflation cooled notably to 6.0% in November from the near-decade high of 6.7% in October. The drop suggests inflationary pressures could finally be easing, thanks to the Central Bank’s aggressive rate hikes this year and the government’s recent measures to curb rising food prices by relaxing food import restrictions and lifting non-tariff barriers. Nevertheless, inflation remained well above the upper bound of the Central Bank’s target range for the 2018–2020 period, set at 3.0% plus or minus 1.0 percentage point. Annual average inflation meanwhile rose to 5.0% in November from 4.8% in October.
Author: Lindsey Ice, Economist