BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
Inflation in Western Visayas has dropped to 2.7 percent in August, but it is still among the regions with the highest headline, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported yesterday.
The national inflation also went down to 2.4 percent from 2.7 percent in July.
The PSA said the slowdown in inflation in August was primarily due to the deceleration of inflation for the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages that slid to an annual rate of 1.8 percent during the period, from 2.4 percent in the previous month.
Indices in the commodity groups, such as alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 17.7 percent; clothing and footwear, 1.9 percent; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, 3.9 percent; education, 0.1 percent; and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services at 2.3 percent also posted lower inflation for the month.
Also a factor in the deceleration of the overall inflation was recreation and culture, PSA added.
On the other hand, inflation for housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels slightly went up by 0.9 percent, from 0.8 percent in the previous month, PSA said.
Core inflation, excluding selected food and energy items, slowed down to 3.1 percent in August, from 3.3 percent in the previous month.
For food, the annual rate at the national level eased further to 1.7 percent, from 2.5 percent in July, PSA said.
Among the regions, Bicol remained with the highest inflation in August at 4 percent from 4.2 percent in July, followed by Mimaropa – 3.1 percent from 2.9 percent, and Cagayan Valley- 2.9 percent from 2.8 percent.
Region 6 came in fourth with 2.7 percent from 3.2 percent in July, while the Davao region posted the lowest inflation at 0.2 percent from 1.2 percent.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, in a statement yesterday, said the inflation was within the government’s target range of 3 percent.
“The latest inflation outturn is consistent with the BSP’s prevailing assessment that inflation is expected to remain benign over the policy horizon with the balance of risks tilting toward the downside owing largely to weak domestic demand and potential disruptions to domestic and global economic activities amid the ongoing pandemic,” the statement said.
BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said monetary authorities will continue to evaluate the transmission of the BSP’s policy actions to the economy along with the recently-approved fiscal measures to address the public health crisis.*