The downtrend in the prices of goods and cost of services has continued as the headline inflation rate in Central Visayas region slowed down to 5.3% in December 2018, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Friday, January 4, 2019.
The December figure was lower than the 6.0% in November 2018, but higher than the yearago level of 3.0% in December 2017.
The Central Visayas inflation rate in December was a bit higher than the national inflation rate, which was reported at 5.1%. The PSA said this was the lowest since June 2018.
Headline inflation refers to the rate of change in the weighted average prices of all goods and services in the consumer price index (CPI) basket.
Read: PSA report
Four commodity groups registered lower inflation rates in the region in December while two groups posted minimal increases. The rate was stable for the rest of the 11 commodity groups.
The PSA report showed that the transport basket registered the biggest month-on-month decrease to 2.7% in December from 6.8% in November among the commodity groups in Central Visayas.
Three other groups also posted a slowdown: food and non-alcoholic beverages, 8.0% in December from 8.1% in November; alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 19.8% from 20.7%; and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, 3.8% from 5.5%.
The two commodity baskets that registered increases were clothing and footwear, 1.1% from 1.0%, and health, 4.3% from 4.1%.
The rest of the commodity groups were stable: furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services; recreation and culture; and education.
Prices of consumer items and the cost of services spiked in the third quarter of the year, with authorities tracing the uptick to the implementation of the tax reform package called Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act and the rising global oil prices.
The TRAIN law raised the cap on non-taxable income, but imposed higher excise taxes on fuel.
The country’s economic managers, however, correctly predicted that the inflation rate would peak in October and stabilize towards the yearend.
The country's headline inflation surged to 6.7% in September and October from 6.4% in August, 5.7% in July, and 5.2% in June. It decelerated to 6.0% in November. (Ventures Cebu)