Inflation accelerates to 20-month high of 3.3%

Inflation rate jumped to a 20-month high of 3.3 percent in November from 2.5 percent in October on higher food prices following a series of typhoons that affected farm harvests, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority show.

"This is the highest inflation registered since April 2019," the PSA said in a report Friday.

Inflation averaged 2.6 percent in the first 11 months, within the government's target range of 2 percent to 4 percent, but slightly higher than 2.5 percent in 2019.

The PSA said the annual increase of 4.3 percent in the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages primarily pushed up the overall inflation in November.

Also contributing to the uptrend was the higher annual increment in alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 12.3 percent.

Inflation for food index at the national level picked up to 4.5 percent in November from 2.1 percent in October.  The index for vegetables posted a double-digit annual increment of 14.6 percent in November, after registering an annual drop of -0.5 percent in October.

The PSA also noted price spikes for meat at 8.2 percent; fish, 5.3 percent; and fruits, 5.6 percent.

The index for rice posted an annual decrease of -0.1 percent, while that for corn retained its previous month’s rate. 

Meanwhile, core inflation picked up to 3.2 percent in November from 3.0 percent in October. Core inflation was observed at 2.6 percent in November last year. 

The Development Budget Coordination Committee, in its meeting on Thursday, said it was expecting an average inflation of 2.4 percent to 2.6 percent for the whole year.

The inflation assumption for 2021 and 2022 was retained at 2 percent to 4 percent. 

The assumption for the price of Dubai crude oil per barrel for 2020 was adjusted from $35 to $45 per barrel to $40 to $42 a barrel. For 2021 and 2022, it was retained at $35 to $50 a barrel. 

The peso-dollar exchange rate assumption was revised to P48 to P50 against the US dollar for 2020 and P48 to P53 against the greenback from 2021 to 2022. 


Topics: Inflation rate , 3.3% , November 2020 , PSA , food prices , Philippines
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