Food prices blamed for highest inflation in 10 years
The increase in food prices has been blamed again for the highest inflation the Philippines saw in 10 years.
Yesterday, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that headline inflation increased in September 2018 to 6.7 percent, up by 0.3 percentage points from the previous month’s 6.4 percent.
While this is slightly lower the median market expectation of 6.8 percent and within the 6.3 to 7.1 percent forecast of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, this is also the highest level that inflation rate has been in over the past 10 years.
“Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages continue to be the main inflation drivers,” the country’s economic managers said.
They then explained that supply disruptions caused by the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong in the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan, and Cordillera Autonomous Region put upward pressures on food prices.
“Damage to agriculture, including facilities and infrastructure, amounted to P26.8 billion. This has kept the price of the country’s staple grain elevated despite the arrival of some imported rice and the improvement in the rice stocks of the National Food Authority,” said a joint statement by the country’s Economic Team composed of Department of Budget and Management (DBM), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and Department of Finance (DOF).
Right now, the economic team is hoping that the declaration of a state of calamity in regions affected by Ompong through the President’s Proclamation No. 593, series of 2018 “should provide some needed relief” moving forward.