BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
The inflation rate in Western Visayas has increased slightly to 2.8 percent in September from 2.7 percent in August, the Philippine Statistics Authority said yesterday.
The national headline, on the other hand, dropped from 2.4 percent in August to 2.3 percent last month, the PSA said.
The downtrend in the overall headline in September was mainly caused by the slowdown in the inflation for heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages which eased at an annual rate of 1.5 percent during the month, from 1.8 percent in the previous month, PSA said.
Also, slower inflation was recorded for alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 12.9 percent; clothing and footwear, 1.8 percent; and furnishing, household equipment, and routine maintenance of the house, 3.7 percent. Moreover, the annual rate in the index of recreation and culture dropped further to -0.5 percent during the month, it added.
The PSA also said that the annual increases in the indices for housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, transport, communication, and education were higher during the month.
The rest of the commodity groups retained their previous month’s annual growth rates, PSA added.
Among the regions, Bicol remained with the highest inflation in September at 4.5 percent from 4 percent, followed by Mimaropa and Caraga at 3.2 percent, and Cagayan Valley and Soccsksargen with 2.9 percent, while Davao Region had the lowest inflation at .8 percent.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, in a statement, said the latest inflation outturn is consistent with its prevailing assessment that inflation is expected to remain benign over the policy horizon, with the balance of risks tilting toward the downside, owing mainly to potentially deeper disruptions to domestic and global economic activities amid the pandemic.*