Inflation at 3% in January as new base year takes effect
Prices of basic goods rose at a slower pace in January with household utilities and restaurant services leading the milder increase, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported.
Inflation stood at 3% during the month, decelerating both from 3.2% in December and 3.7% in January last year. The latest figures now use 2018 as base year, PSA chief Dennis Mapa said in a virtual briefing.
Rebasing is done periodically to ensure the CPI market basket still captures households' frequently used goods and services and update their spending patterns. Prior to this, the CPI used 2012 as base year.
January's inflation rate falls within the 2-4% target band of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Mapa said the slower increase in prices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; restaurants and accommodation services; and alcoholic drinks and tobacco mainly caused inflation to soften during the period.
Inflation in Metro Manila also eased in January to 1.3%, compared to 2.1% the month prior.
Meanwhile, areas outside the capital region saw inflation mildly climb to 3.4% during the month from 3.5% in December. Zamboanga Peninsula recorded the quickest print at 6%, while Cagayan Valley logged the slowest at 1.7%.
Mapa clarified that inflation for the country's poorest households still use base year 2012. The rate stood at 3.2% in January, falling from 3.3% in December.
The BSP separately welcomed the latest figure, noting it "supports the narrative that inflation is on its downward trajectory."