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Inflation rises to 3.3 percent in typhoon-wracked November

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Recent typhoons impacted heavily on agriculture, driving food prices up and pushing inflation higher to 3.3 percent in November

By Monsi A. Serrano

For a second straight month, year-on-year inflation rose in November to 3.3 percent from 2.5 percent the previous month, slightly overshooting the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)’s expected range of 2.4-3.2.

The BSP reported that inflation pressures in November were traced mainly to higher inflation for food items.

The string of typhoons that battered the country had caused supply disruptions, increasing the year-on-year inflation rates for fish, fruits, and vegetables.

Also, the African Swine Fever (ASF) continued to adversely affect pork supply, which led to higher price increases for meat.

At the same time, inflation for alcoholic beverages and tobacco also increased in November.

By contrast, non-food inflation edged lower as year-on-year inflation rates of most major commodity groups slowed down in November compared to the previous month.

“The resulting year-to-date average inflation rate of 2.6 percent was within the Government’s target range of 3.0 percent ± 1.0 percentage point for the year,” the BSP said.

“Likewise, core inflation — which excludes selected volatile food and energy items to measure underlying price pressures — increased to 3.2 percent year-on-year in November from 3.0 percent in October,” it added.

Noticeably, the month-on-month seasonally-adjusted inflation also went up to 1.0 percent in November from 0.4 percent in October.

Still, the BSP maintained: “The latest inflation outturn remains in line with the BSP’s prevailing assessment that inflation is likely to settle within the lower half of the target band for 2020 up to 2022, with the balance of risks to the inflation outlook still tilted toward the downside owing largely to potential disruptions to domestic and global economic activity amid the ongoing pandemic.”

The BSP aims to look ahead “watchful of economic and financial developments” in order to ensure that its primary mandate of price stability conducive to balanced and sustainable economic growth is achieved.

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