Philippines: Inflation rises to highest level since December 2011
January 6, 2014
In December, consumer prices increased 0.74% over the previous month, which marked the highest figure seen since April 2012. Higher prices for housing, water and fuels, as well as for food and non-alcoholic beverages, were the most important drivers behind the monthly increase.
Annual inflation rose from 3.3% in November to 4.1% in December, which marks the highest figure since December 2011. Meanwhile, annual average inflation - the reference rate used by the Central Bank as a guide for monetary policy - inched up from 2.8% in November to 2.9% in December. Average inflation is still below the Central Bank's target of 4.0% plus/minus 1.0 percentage points.
The core inflation index, which excludes volatile items such as food and oil, expanded 0.38% over the previous month (November: 0.46% month-on-month). Finally, annual core inflation rose from 2.8% in November to 3.2% in December.
The Central Bank has set a target of 4.0% plus/minus 1.0 percentage points for 2014 and of 3.0% plus/minus 1.0 percentage points for 2015. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect annual inflation to average 3.8% in 2014, which is unchanged from last month's forecast. For 2015, the panel expects inflation to average 3.8%.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist