Price spike not worrisome

THE Philippines’ rate of price increase continues but Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said this is not worrisome since rates are just normalizing.

As of last September, inflation averaged at 3.1 percent, within the government’s two to four percent target for 2017-19.

Last September alone, inflation registered its five-month high of 3.4 percent from month-ago’s 3.1 percent. Year-ago inflation rate is 2.3 percent.

Dominguez said inflation came fro m a low base because of the recent weakness of the global economy.

“Now we are in the period of normalization and we are going back to the normal interest rates, the normalization of inflation, so it’s just going back to where it was,” he said.
Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran, in an economic bulletin, forecasts the October 2017 inflation rate to hit 3.5 percent, the highest projected for the year on account of upticks in non-food indices like utilities.
He, however, remains confident of within-target inflation noting the expected rice harvest in the remaining months of the year and the possible base effects of utilities sub-group.
“Food inflation may decline further in November 2017 as the rice harvest season has started pushing down domestic rice prices,” he said.
The Department of Finance (DOF) chief economist, in his report, expects inflation of alcoholic beverages and tobacco to rise to 6.7 percent from 6.4 percent; housing, utilities and fuels to 4.1 percent from 3.8 percent; electricity, gas and other fuels to 9.2 percent from 8.2 percent; furnishings and household equipment to 1.9 percent from 1.8 percent; and recreation and culture to 1.5 percent from 1.4 percent.