By Restituto Cayubit
TACLOBAN CITY – The Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas slowed further last month, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) Regional Statistical Service Office (RSSO).
Wilma A. Perante, RSSO regional director, told Manila Bulletin the 0.6 percent figure is 0.9 percentage point lower than the 1.5 percent in July, and 5.5 percentage points lower than 6.1 percent in the same period last year.
“The regional inflation rate is 1.1 percentage points lower than the 1.7 percent national average in August 2019,” Perante said.
Northern Samar recorded the biggest drop, from zero inflation rate in July to 1.8 percent deflation in August. Biliran registered a 0.2 percentage point increase, from 1.9 percent deflation in July.
Samar inched up by 0.1 percentage point, from 0.3 percent in July.
Northern Samar posted the lowest 1.8 percent deflation, and Leyte the highest at 2.3 percent.
All commodity groups posted inflation rates in August lower than in July, except for education, which had retained its previous month’s rate of 5.3 percent.
Recreation and culture had the biggest drop, from 4.5 percent in July to 1.3 percent in August. The decline was attributed to the huge decrease in the index for recreational and cultural services.
The transport commodity group eased to 2.2 percent from 3.3 percent in July.
The heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages deflated in August at 0.3 percent, from 0.7 percent in July.
Lower rates were posted in all of the food items, except food products not elsewhere classified, which rose by 0.2 percentage point.
Vegetables registered the highest decrease of 3.5 percentage points pushing its IR to 3.0 percent. Fruits and rice indices continued to register deflations at 5.3 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively. Deflation was likewise noted in fish at 0.4 percent.
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels slowed further, from 1.3 percent in July to 2.0 percent in August.
The rate for furnishings, household equipment, and routine house maintenance went down by 0.8 percentage point to 5.9 percent.