Philippine inflation rises to 3.9% in May

Inflation, or the rate of increase in consumer prices, picked up at a quicker pace in May as electricity and liquefied petroleum gas costs rise, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported Wednesday, June 5.

May headline inflation inched up to 3.9 percent from 3.8 percent in the previous month, within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) forecast of 3.7 percent to 4.5 percent for the month.

This also marked the sixth consecutive month of inflation staying within the central bank's target range of 2.0 percent to 4.0 percent, but pushed the average rate for the first five months of the year to 3.5 percent.

Based on the commodities price survey, the acceleration in inflation was attributed to the rising inflation rates of utilities at 0.9 percent (from 0.4 percent) and transport at 3.5 percent (from 2.6 percent).

PSA Undersecretary Claire Dennis S. Mapa said that electricity consumption of about 120 kilowatt hours per month had an average price of P1,404.60 in May compared to P1,384.35 in April.

On the other hand, rice inflation sustained its downtrend in May, dropping to 23 percent from 23.9 percent as world prices also decreased in recent months.

This after prices for the majority of sub-commodities of rice such as regula and special declined during the month.

Regular rice cost P51.25 per kilo from P51.3 in April, as special rice also declined to P64.41 per kilo from P64.68.

The average price for a kilogram of well-milled rice, however, increased to P56.6 per kilo from P56.42 in April.

Rice contributed 1.7 percent of the 3.9 percent headline inflation and 3.7 percent for the 5.3 percent inflation for poor households.

Inflation in Metro Manila also swelled to 3.1 percent in May from 2.8 percent in the previous month prompted by the rise in costs of utilities.

National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan stated that the government will “continue to implement lasting policy reforms to ensure we address the drivers of food and non-food inflation sustainably.”

“We want to maintain a macroeconomic environment conducive to investment and high-quality job creation—an environment that would allow us to hit the Marcos Administration’s development targets by 2028,” Balisacan added.