MANILA – The country’s inflation rate slowed down to 4.1 percent in June from the previous month’s 4.5 percent as fuel and transport costs decelerated, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Tuesday.
Last month’s figure brought the average inflation rate for the first six months of the year to 4.4 percent.
In a virtual press briefing, PSA Undersecretary and national statistician Dennis Mapa said the transport index, particularly tricycle fare, slightly decelerated following the decline in inflation of petroleum and fuels.
Mapa attributed the slowdown in transport inflation to the “base effect” as there was a higher trajectory in the level of transport costs from March to June 2020.
Metro Manila was placed on enhanced community quarantine starting March 15 last year to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“We see that the transport index, although it is declining, but there is still a threat because the (price) level ng petroleum products is increasing,” he said.
Mapa said the inflation of petroleum and fuels, which contributed almost half to the overall inflation last month, declined to 21.5 percent from 33 percent.
He said food and non-alcoholic beverages, particularly meat and fish, also mainly contributed to overall inflation last month with a 44.6-percent share.
“Here, we see the effect of (pork) importation although I’m not so sure if a big part (of imports) has already arrived but we can see in the data the decline in inflation of meat products, particularly pork, in the whole country, particularly in the NCR (National Capital Region),” he added.
Mapa said the PSA is monitoring if the drop in pork prices will be sustained.
“The weight of the meat component in the food basket is big, (so) our inflation rate can decline next month. In other words, there are items that we are tracking that will have a potential effect in the change trajectory in the trend that we see now in inflation,” he said.
Mapa said inflation in the NCR slowed down to 3.2 percent in June from 3.6 percent the previous month, while inflation in areas outside the NCR eased to 4.4 percent from 4.7 percent. (PNA)