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May inflation quickens, breaks 6-month slowdown

The country’s headline inflation quickened to 3.2% year-on-year in May 2019, breaking the slowdown since November 2018.

Core inflation, which excludes selected volatile food and energy items to measure underlying price pressures, was also higher at 3.5 percent in May from 3.4 percent in April.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), however, assured that this brings the year-to-date average headline inflation to 3.6%, which is still within the government’s inflation target range of 2% to 4% for 2019 and 2020.

“The inflation outturn for May 2019 continues to be in line with the BSP’s current assessment that inflation will settle within the target range of 3.0 percent ± 1.0 percentage point for 2019 and 2020,” the central bank said in a statement.

“Looking ahead, the BSP will continue to monitor evolving price trends to ensure that the monetary policy stance remains consistent with its price stability objective,” BSP added.

Headline inflation started to slow down in November 2018, after peaking at 6.7% in September and October 2018. Inflation slowed to 6% in November and further to 5.1% in December.

Inflation continued to slow down, greeting 2019 with 4.4% in January and reaching 3% in April.

Authorities attributed the inflation uptick in May to the higher prices of fish, fruits, and vegetables due to dry weather conditions.

This was partly tempered by the decline in corn and rice prices compared to year-ago levels.

The uptick in non-food inflation could be attributed to higher year-on-year inflation of housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels.

The price rollback of most domestic petroleum products during the month helped offset the upward adjustment in public utility jeepney fares in some provinces. (Ventures Cebu)

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