PH inflation inches down to 8.6% in February 2023
Headline inflation in the Philippines slowed down to 8.6 percent in February 2023, from 8.7 percent in January 2023. In February 2022, inflation was lower at 3.0 percent. The average inflation rate for the first two months of the year stood at 8.6 percent.
Among the 13 commodity groups, transport was the sole driver of the downtrend of the overall inflation during the month, recording a 9.0 percent inflation rate in February 2023 from 11.1 percent inflation in January 2023.
In contrast, nine commodity groups showed higher inflation rates which includes the following:
a. Food and non-alcoholic beverages, 10.8 percent; b. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 11.0 percent; c. Clothing and footwear, 4.8 percent; d. Furnishings, household equipment and maintenance, 6.2 percent; e. Health, 4.0 percent; f. Information and communication, 0.8 percent; g. Recreation, sport and culture, 4.4 percent; h. Restaurants and accommodation services, 8.1 percent; and i. Personal care, and miscellaneous goods and services, 5.3 percent.
The indices of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; and education services moved at their previous month’s annual rates at 8.6 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the financial services index continued to record zero percent annual rate.
Food inflation at the national level, likewise, slowed down to 11.1 percent in February 2023, from 11.2 percent in January 2023. In February 2022, food inflation rate was at 1.1 percent.
The downtrend in the food inflation was mainly brought about by the lower year-on-year growth in the index of vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses at 33.1 percent in February 2023, from 37.8 percent in January 2023. In addition, the rice index increased at a lower rate of 2.2 percent during the month, from 2.7 percent in January 2023. Moreover, slower year-on-year growth rates were observed in the indices of the following food groups during the month:
a. Corn, 12.6 percent; b. Meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals, 6.5 percent; c. Oils and fats, 17.3 percent; and d. Sugar, confectionery and desserts, 37.0 percent.
On the contrary, higher annual increases were observed in the indices of the following food groups during the period:
a. Flour, bread and other bakery products 11.7 percent; b. Fish and other seafood, 9.9 percent; c. Milk, other dairy products and eggs, 13.1 percent; d. Fruits and nuts, 11.5 percent; and e. Ready-made food and other products not elsewhere classified, 9.8 percent.
Core inflation, which excludes selected food and energy items in the headline inflation, rose to 7.8 percent in February 2023, from 7.4 percent in January 2023. In February 2022, core inflation was lower at 1.9 percent.