Economic managers confident inflation will taper off by year-end
The government’s economic team on Friday expressed confidence that the soaring prices of commodities will taper off by year-end even as inflation clocked in at 6.7 percent in September.
In a statement, the economic managers of President Rodrigo Duterte noted that there were “clear signs” inflation was easing, citing the slowed inflation in Metro Manila.
In the National Capital Region, inflation slowed to 6.3 percent from 7 percent in August. Meanwhile, non-food inflation was at 4 percent from 4.1 percent during the same comparable period, the economic managers said.
“These clear signs of easing boost our confidence that inflation will taper off by year-end and go back to our target range by early next year,” the Department of Finance, National Economic and Development Authority, and the Department of Budget and Management said in a joint statement.
“But we must couple this optimism with quick and focused actions in order to sustain gains made so far in keeping inflation in check,” they added.
The economic team also noted that the latest inflation rate was slightly lower than the median market expectation of 6.8 percent but within the range of the 6.3 to 7.1 percent forecast of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
They added that the recent onslaught of Typhoon Ompong contributed to the increase in food prices as it disrupted supply in the Ilocos, Cagayan and Cordillera regions. The typhoon’s damage to agriculture, including facilities and infrastructure, have reached P26.8 billion.
“This has kept the price of the country’s staple grain elevated despite the arrival of some imported rice and the improvement in the rice stocks of the National Food Authority,” the statement read.
President Duterte’s declaration of state of calamity in these regions “should provide some needed relief,” they added.
The economic officials also further assured the public they are “working swiftly” to tame the increasing prices of goods in the market.
“Despite risks and uncertainties in the global economy, the Philippines’ macroeconomic fundamentals remain robust and resilient enough to weather external shocks,” they said.
“And our work for the people never ends: We continue to stay on course in realizing our medium- and long-term development goals for the country,” the officials added.
The 6.7 percent inflation last month was the fastest since the headline inflation rate of 7.2 percent in posted in February 2009. /muf
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.