The Philippines’ inflation rate slightly goes down to 4.5% in March 2021
Headline inflation in the Philippines eased to 4.5 percent in March 2021, after five consecutive months of acceleration. This brings the average inflation of the country for the first quarter of 2021 at 4.5 percent. In February 2021, inflation was recorded at 4.7 percent and in March 2020, 2.5 percent.
The slowdown in inflation at the national level was primarily due to the lower annual increment registered in the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages at 5.8 percent in March 2021, from 6.7 percent inflation in February 2021. Annual increases also decelerated in the indices of the following commodity groups:
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 12.1 percent;
Furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, 1.9 percent;
Communication, 0.2 percent; and
Restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services, 3.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the annual decline of -0.6 percent in recreation and culture index in March 2021 was lower than its annual drop of -0.7 percent in the previous month. Moreover, inflation was higher for transport at 13.8 percent during the period.
The rest of the commodity groups retained their respective previous month’s annual growth rates.
Core inflation, which excludes selected food and energy items, stood at its previous month’s annual rate of 3.5 percent in March 2021. In March 2020, core inflation was observed at 3.0 percent.
Inflation for food index at the national level slid to 6.2 percent during the month, from 7.0 percent in February 2021. Inflation for food in March 2020 was posted at 2.6 percent.
The annual increment of vegetables index slowed down to 8.3 percent in March 2021, from a double-digit annual hike of 16.7 percent in February 2021. In addition, annual increases slowed down in the indices of fish at 4.9 percent; fruits, 3.9 percent; and food products not elsewhere classified, 3.8 percent. On the other hand, the annual rate of meat index moved up further to 20.9 percent in March 2021. The rest of the food groups had higher annual growth rates, except for milk, cheese, and egg which retained its previous month’s annual rate of 1.7 percent.