The Philippines’ inflation rate soars to 8.7% in January 2023
Headline inflation in the Philippines continued its uptrend as it accelerated further to 8.7 percent in January 2023, from 8.1 percent in December 2022. The January 2023 inflation is the highest annual rate recorded since November 2008. In January 2022, inflation was lower at 3.0 percent.
The main driver in the uptrend of inflation in January 2023 was the higher year-on-year increase in the index of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels at 8.5 percent, from 7.0 percent in December 2022.
This was followed by food and non-alcoholic beverages at 10.7 percent, from 10.2 percent in December 2022. Also contributed to the increase in inflation was restaurants and accommodation services with an inflation rate of 7.6 percent in January 2023, from 7.0 percent in December 2022.
Relative to their annual rates in the previous month, higher annual increases were also observed in the indices of the following commodity groups:
a. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 10.9 percent; b. Clothing and footwear, 4.4 percent; c. Furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance, 5.2 percent; d. Health, 3.3 percent; e. Recreation, sport and culture, 4.2 percent; and f. Personal care, and miscellaneous goods and services, 5.0 percent.
On the contrary, lower annual increase was observed in the index of transport at 11.2 percent during the month. Meanwhile, the indices of information and communication, education services, and financial services remained at their previous month’s annual rates of 0.7 percent, 3.6 percent, and 0.0 percent, respectively.
Food inflation at the national level climbed to 11.2 percent in January 2023, from 10.6 percent in December 2022. In January 2022, food inflation stood at 1.6 percent.
The higher food inflation was mainly brought about by the increased year-on-year growth in the index of vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses at 37.8 percent in January 2023, from 32.4 percent in December 2022. Moreover, higher annual mark-ups were observed in the indices of the following food groups during the month:
a. Flour, bread and other bakery products, pasta products, 11.3 percent; b. Fish and other seafood, 6.7 percent; c. Milk, other dairy products and eggs, 11.3 percent; and d. Fruits and nuts, 9.8 percent.
Meanwhile, lower annual growth rates were observed in the indices of the following food groups in January 2023:
a. Rice, 2.7 percent; b. Corn, 16.0 percent; c. Meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals, 7.0 percent; d. Oils and fats, 18.5 percent; and e. Ready-made food and other products not elsewhere classified, 9.2 percent.
The index of sugar, confectionery and desserts retained its previous month’s growth rate of 38.8 percent.