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5:57 pm on 5 January 2023, Thursday
By Ryan Louis Mantilla
The Philippines has reached its highest inflation rate, from 8.0 percent in November to 8.1 percent in December 2022, according to Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
Last month's inflation rate is within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' forecast range of 7.8% to 8.6%. However, the figure raised the annual average inflation rate to 5.8%, which is also higher than the official target range of 2% to 4%.
Despite the quicker price increases in December, PSA Undersecretary Dennis Mapa reported that the nation's average inflation in 2022 is still within the Development Budget Coordination Committee's target of 5.8 percent.
The most recent figure from PSA is more than twice as high as December 2021's 3.6% and only slightly lower than the 8% recorded in November 2022.
According to the statistical authority, the faster year-on-year growth rate in the food and non-alcoholic beverages index of 10.2 percent in December 2022, up from 10.0 percent in November 2022, was mainly responsible for the increased inflation rate.
Besides alcoholic beverages, other commodity groups with high year-on-year increments in December 2022 include tobacco, clothing and footwear, furnishing, household maintenance, health, recreation, and miscellaneous goods and services, ranging from 3.1 percent to 10.7 percent.
National food inflation increased from 10.3 percent in November 2022 to 10.6 percent in December 2022. However, food inflation was much lower in December 2021, at 1.6%.
Furthermore, the main factors driving up the December 2022 food inflation were the higher year-over-year growth rates in the indices of vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas, and pulses.