Philippines: Inflation rises to highest level since November 2011
February 5, 2014
In January, consumer prices increased 0.66% over the previous month, which was down from the 0.77% rise registered in December. Higher prices for key food items due to tight domestic supply was the most important driver behind the monthly increase.
Annual inflation rose from 4.1% in December to 4.2% in January, which marks the highest figure since November 2011. In the full year 2013, inflation was 2.9%, which was below the 3.2% recorded in 2012 and represents the lowest level since 2007. Meanwhile, annual average inflation - the reference rate used by the Central Bank as a guide for monetary policy - inched up from 2.9% in December to 3.0% in January. Consequently, average inflation is now within 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, rose 0.68% over the previous month (December: 0.38% month-on-month). Annual core inflation held at December's 2.8% in January.
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