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Eastern Visayas October inflation at 7-year low

Elmer Recuerdo

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TACLOBAN CITY — Prices of goods and services in Eastern Visayas stood at a seven-year low in October when the region registered a 0.7 percent inflation.

This was 0.6 percentage point lower compared with the 0.1 percent rate in September 2019 and 7.6 percentage points lower compared with the 6.9 percent inflation rate (IR) recorded in the same period last year.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) regional office also show the regional inflation was 1.5 percentage points lower than the 0.8 percent national average inflation rate in October 2019.
Except in Eastern Samar, all provinces in Eastern Visayas posted lower inflation in October 2019. The biggest drop in the price of commodities was recorded in Southern Leyte at 2.6 percent, followed by Northern Samar and Biliran at 1.4 percent.

Samar and Leyte registered 1.1 percent and 0.2 percent inflation rate, respectively. Eastern Samar, on the other hand, exhibited an inflation rate of 0.7 percent in October 2019, slightly higher than inflation averaging 0.5 percent in September 2019.

Before the 0.7 percent inflation in October 2019, the lowest happened in February 2016 when the rate averaged only 0.2 percent. The inflation rate is based on January 2012 prices when PSA regional office started monitoring the consumer price index on a monthly basis.

The PSA data also show a majority of the commodity groups in the region exhibited slight increases in October 2019 compared with rates in September 2019. These were, however, offset by decreases in housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; transport; food and non-alcoholic beverages; and recreation and culture commodity groups.

Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group registered the biggest drop of 2.0 percentage points, from 0.9 percent deflation in September 2019 to 2.9 percent deflation in October 2019. This can be attributed to the price drop-off in the index for electricity, gas and other fuels.

Transport commodity group posted zero inflation rate during the said month. The 1.7 percent inflation recorded in the index for transport services was offset by the 4.3 percent deflation registered in the index for operation of personal transport equipment.

The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages commodity group further slowed down to 2.6 percent deflation during the reference month from 2.2 percent deflation in September 2019, a drop of 0.4 percentage point.

Lower inflation were noted in majority of the food items, with food products not elsewhere classified registering the highest decrease of 1.3 percentage points pushing inflation to 5.0 percent in October 2019 from 6.3 percent deflation a month ago. Rice, bread and cereals, and fish indices continued to register deflations at 9.7 percent, 7.5 percent, and 0.2 percent, respectively.

Similarly, recreation and culture commodity group eased by 0.4 percentage point registering and inflation rate of 1.8 percent in October.

On the other hand, the commodity group alcoholic beverages and tobacco, and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services picked up by 0.3 percentage point, posting inflation rates averaging 4.7 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively.

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