July inflation hits 31-month low at 2.4%

July inflation hits 31-month low at 2.4%
Rice and meat prices remain stable even as gas prices stayed the same this week with no adjustments. (Photo collage by PNA)

By Leslie Gatpolintan

The country’s inflation rate further eased to a 31-month low at 2.4 percent in July as food prices continued to soften, boosting expectations of continued deceleration.

Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Undersecretary Claire Dennis Mapa said last month’s figure was the lowest inflation recorded since January 2017, and was the same rate observed in July 2017.

Inflation in June 2019 was higher at 2.7 percent and in July 2018 at 5.7 percent.

This brings the year-to-date inflation for 2019 to 3.3 percent.

“Our expectation is that it will continue to go down or at least stabilize at this number in the coming months,” Mapa said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

He said the main driver in the downtrend of inflation in July 2019 was the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages, particularly rice; corn; oil and fats; vegetables; sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery; and food products.

The share of this commodity group to the overall inflation was 31.6 percent.

Mapa also attributed the slowdown to housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; and transport.

He said indexes of clothing and footwear and education accelerated last month.

Mapa said a downward trend in inflation in the National Capital Region (NCR) was posted in July 2019, as it recorded a slower annual increase of 2.3 percent from 3 percent the previous month.

Inflation in Areas Outside NCR also further declined to 2.4 percent last month from 2.6 percent in June 2019, he added. (First published by PNA, Aug. 6, 2019)

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