Palace not alarmed with ‘slight’ inflation hike
MANILA, Philippines—The uptick in the country’s May inflation rate is a circumstance that does not set off alarm bells, Malacañang said Thursday.
The Palace issued the statement after inflation, or the rate of prices of basic commodities, rose to 3.2 percent in May from 3 percent in April, breaking the six consecutive months of slowdown.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the inflation spike is attributed to a slight increase in some agricultural food products like vegetables, fish and fruits, as well as in housing, water and utilities.
“The rise is within the 2.8 % to 3.6 % range estimated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) hence there is no cause for alarm,” Panelo said.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the top three contributors to the overall inflation were food and non-alcoholic beverages; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels; and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services.
Panelo added that high spending in food and alcoholic beverages during the campaign period and the negative effects of El Niño phenomenon in the peak summer month of May are the reasons for the slight surge in inflation.
“Both factors are expected however to taper down,” he noted.
The Palace official also claimed that “when the full impact of rice liberalization is felt, with rice prices falling down further, there will be a downtrend in the inflation rate,” adding that current rice and corn price index already showed a decline of 0.7% and 2.8%, respectively. (Editor: Mike U. Frialde)
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