Price increases in food and drinks push inflation
The Department of Finance (DOF) said that price increases recorded in food and drinks have pushed inflation up in January.
To be specific, inflation rose to 4.0 percent in the January 2018 from 3.3 percent in December 2017. This is 0.7 percentage point higher than in the previous month.
DOF said the biggest increases came from food and non-alcoholic beverages — by 0.39 percentage point.
Of food items, the biggest increases came from fish due to closed season in fishing which led to scarcity in fish catch.
Vegetables were also a bit more expensive due to typhoons in December which destroyed the vegetable harvest, while the price for non-alcoholic beverages went up by 0.05 percentage point as producers started raising their prices even when they were selling old inventory, in anticipation of the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
Between alcoholic beverages and tobacco, the biggest increases came from tobacco whose inflation rate was 17.4 percent, pushing up the index by 0.06 percentage point.
Meanwhile, alcoholic beverages whose inflation rate rose 4.8 percent pushed up the index by 0.01 percentage point. This reflects the 4 percent adjustment in sin taxes in accordance with the Sin Tax Law passed in 2012.
“Except for sugar-sweetened beverages, TRAIN [Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion] had no impact on inflation,” DOF noted.