The inflation rate in Western Visayas decelerated in the month of June, at 2.5 percent from 3 percent in May, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported yesterday.
The inflation rate of the region was among the lowest in the country, or at sixth place from among the 17 regions. It is also lower than the national average of 2.7 percent from 3.2 percent in May.
The slowdown of inflation in June was mainly driven by the slower annual rate posted in the index of the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages, the PSA said.
Also contributing to the downtrend of the headline inflation were the slower annual increments in the indices of five commodity groups. These are alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 9.3 percent; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, 3 percent; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, 3.1 percent; transport, 1.6 percent; and communication, 0.3 percent.
Zamboanga Peninsula posted the lowest inflation rate at 0.7 percent from 1.5 percent in May, followed by Central Visayas at 1.1 percent, and Eastern Visayas 1.5 percent. Mimaropa still posted the highest inflation at 5.2 percent, from 4.7 percent in the previous month.
Chief executive officer Frank Carbon of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry said too much downtrend in the inflation might also result in recession.
He said the slowdown in the inflation also means there is low demand. “People stop buying. There would be downward prices adjustments to encourage purchase and travel,” he said, adding that the deceleration was also due to the opening of classes, meaning the priorities of the public shifted.
Wennie Sancho, secretary-general of the General Alliance of Workers Associations, said the PSA and the Department of Trade and Industry should explain the downtrend because, for the labor sector, the slowdown of inflation is not reflected in the economic realities of life.
“As a matter of fact, prices of basic goods, including vegetables, continue to increase, especially medicines. Lowering inflation by the government is part of its damage control to project that the economy is on the rebound,” he claimed.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, in a statement yesterday, said the latest inflation outturn continues to support its assessment of a manageable inflation outlook over the policy horizon, with average inflation expected to settle within the target range of the government of 3 percent.
It added the BSP will remain watchful of evolving price trends to ensure that the monetary policy stance remains consistent with the price stability objective of the BSP while being supportive of economic growth.*
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