Eastern Visayas map. (Google image)

TACLOBAN CITY – Eastern Visayas recorded a 7.4 percent inflation rate in October 2022, after two consecutive months of deceleration, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday.

The October rate is higher than the 6.9 percent recorded in September and 7.2 percent in August.

The uptrend in the regional rate in October 2022 was primarily due to the higher prices for housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels.

“It registered a double-digit inflation rate of 11.1 percent in October from 8.6 percent in the previous month. This was followed by the heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index that recorded an increased of 8.1 percent in October from 7.7 percent in September,” PSA Regional Director Wilma Perante said in a statement.

The inflation rate for the food index increased further to 8.5 percent in October 2022 from 8 percent the previous month.

The adjustment in the food inflation was primarily influenced by the faster rate in the index for vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas, and grains.

The faster double-digit rate of sugar, confectionery, and desserts also contributed to the acceleration of the food index during the month.

Likewise contributing to the uptrend in the regional inflation rate during the period was the higher adjustment of prices of restaurants and accommodation services; furnishings, household equipment, and routine household maintenance; alcoholic beverages and tobacco; personal care, and miscellaneous goods and services; clothing and footwear; health; and recreation, sports, and culture.

All six provinces in the region recorded higher inflation rates in October 2022.

Among the provinces, Southern Leyte posted the highest rate at 10.6 percent. Northern Samar came next at 9.3 percent, followed by Eastern Samar at 8.4 percent, Samar at 7.8 percent, and Biliran at 7.3 percent.

The lowest inflation rate was registered in Leyte at 6.3 percent.

Tacloban, the lone highly urbanized city in the region, recorded an inflation of 4.3 percent in October 2022, slightly lower than its 4.5 percent last September.

Inflation rate is the annual rate of change or the year-on-year changes in the consumer price index.

It indicates how fast or how slow the price changes over two time periods (year-on-year).

Contrary to common knowledge, Perante said low inflation does not necessarily mean that prices of commodities are decreasing instead it means that prices continue to increase but at a slower rate.

The PSA came up with the data by establishing baseline information for the prices of the items in the base year (2018) and monitoring the prices of the items regularly.

Data collection for the consumer price index is done by the PSA provincial twice monthly, except for petroleum products which are monitored every Friday.

First collection phase is done during the first five days of the month while the second phase is on the 15th to 17th day of the month. (PNA)