MANILA – The country’s average inflation in 2022 is still within the Development Budget Coordination Committee’s target of 5.8 percent despite the faster pace in price increases in December.
In a press briefing Thursday, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Undersecretary Dennis Mapa reported that headline inflation in December 2022 stood at 8.1 percent, higher than the 8-percent inflation in the previous month and the 3.1-percent rate in December 2021.
Mapa said the December 2022 inflation is the highest since November 2008.
He said the faster inflation rate last month was mainly due to an acceleration in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages at 10.2 percent, sharing 38.9 percent to the uptrend.
He added that although the increments in prices of noche buena products amid the holiday season contributed to the faster overall inflation and food inflation, there were other items that significantly affected the jump in rate of price increases last month, especially vegetables.
Mapa said inflation of the food basket alone stood at 10.6 percent. Vegetables contributed the biggest to the food basket inflation at 2.7 percentage points; followed by meat at 1.4 percentage points; sugar, confectionery and desserts at 1.2 percentage points; fish, 1.1 percentage point; and flour and bakery products, 1 percentage point.
He said vegetable inflation alone stood at 32.4 percent in December 2022, which is the highest since February 1999, with the rate of price increase in vegetables at 34 percent.
The annual average inflation rate for vegetables was at 7.8 percent in 2022, as the year started with negative inflation for vegetable products, he added.
Inflation rate in the National Capital Region (NCR) also went up to 7.6 percent in December 2022 from 7.5 percent in November last year, mainly contributed by restaurant and accommodation services inflation.
In areas outside NCR, inflation last month was at 8.2 percent from 8 percent in November 2022 due to faster rate of price increases in food and non-alcoholic beverages index.
Western Visayas posted the highest inflation among regions at 10.5 percent, while the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao logged the lowest inflation at 6.3 percent.
Risk slowing down
Despite the upward trend in inflation last year, Mapa said the PSA has seen a slowdown in the rate of increase in prices of goods and services in the latter part of 2022.
From an increment of 0.8 percentage points between September and October, it decelerated to 0.3 percentage points in November, and to 0.1 percentage points in December.
“The numbers we’ve seen is that the risk has slowed down month-on-month,” Mapa said.
But he said the price increments in the food basket will continue to impact January 2023’s inflation rate despite a slowdown in price increases in other commodity groups. (PNA)