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MANILA – The rate of increase in consumer prices dropped for three consecutive months in November, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported Tuesday.
 
Inflation rate settled at 4.2 percent last month from 4.6 percent in October.
 
“The downtrend in the overall inflation was primarily brought about by the slowdown in the inflation for the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index which slid at 3.9 percent during the month, from 5.3 percent in October 2021. In addition, lower inflation was also recorded in the indices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 7.5 percent, and furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house at 2.4 percent,” the PSA said.
 
Price increase in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels rose faster at 4.6 percent and inflation for transport increased 8.8 percent last month.
 
On the other hand, month-on-month inflation of meat and pork rose 2.4 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively.
 
The NEDA said the slow importation and release of pork inventory while demand increased due to the upcoming Christmas season pumped higher average price of pork last month.
 
“Pork prices continuously went down month-on-month from July to early-October. This means that our policy to temporarily import pork has been effective. However, the uptick in prices in November shows that we need to further ease administrative requirements for the unloading and distribution of stocks to encourage more importation and help bring back pork prices to their pre-African swine fever level,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA director general Karl Kendrick Chua said. 
 
Meanwhile, the average inflation rate for the past 11 months settled at 4.5 percent, above the government’s target of 2 percent to 4 percent.
 
In a separate statement, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is optimistic that average inflation for the next two years will fall within the government’s target as supply-side pressures ease.
 
“The risks to the inflation outlook are on the upside for 2022 but remain broadly balanced for 2023. Upside risks are mainly linked to the potential impact of weather disturbances on the prices of key food items, petitions for transport fare hikes, and the possibility of a prolonged recovery of domestic pork supply. Strong global demand amid persistent supply-chain bottlenecks could also exert further upward pressures on international commodity prices,” the BSP said.
 
The central bank added that possible delays in lifting domestic containment measures and the emergence of new variants of the virus could dampen prospects for global and local demand, and temper inflationary pressures.
 
“Looking ahead, the BSP stands ready to maintain its accommodative monetary policy stance to support the economy’s recovery while also guarding against any emerging risks to its price and financial stability objectives,” it added. (PNA)