Inflation eases in August 2020 as economy slowly reopens
Inflation went down to 2.4% in August, as more businesses reopened amid the corona virus pandemic, the Philippine Statistics Authority said on Friday, September 4.
The latest figure is lower than the 2.7% recorded in July 2020 and is below analysts' estimates.
Although it is higher than the 1.7% in August 2019, it is well within the government's full-year forecast of 1.75% to 3.75%.
Year-to-date, inflation stands at 2.5%.
The main driver of the lower inflation in August was the slower rate of increase in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
Fish, meat, vegetables, cigarettes, and restaurant meals posted slower annual increases. Meanwhile, the cost of household utilities and gas slightly inched up during the period.
Inflation in the National Capital Region (NCR) was steady at 2.2% in August. Transportation costs went up, but were offset by other commodity groups which posted slower rates.
Inflation in areas outside NCR slowed to 2.5% in August from the 2.9% recorded in July. This was due to negative annual growth rates of rice, corn, and vegetables.
Inflation for the bottom 30% income households also eased, standing at 2.7% in August from the 2.9% in July.
Economists of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas earlier noted that domestic prices of gasoline increased during the period, placing upward pressure on prices.
This, however, may have been offset by lower power rates, strengthening of the peso, and broadly stable food prices
(source text: Rappler)