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Inflation expected at 3.2% in November

In its latest economic bulletin, the DOF said inflation may have settled at 3.2 percent in November, lower than the intra-year high of 3.5 percent in October. The figure, however, was still higher than the 2.5 percent recorded last year. File

MANILA, Philippines — Inflation likely eased to 3.2 percent in November due mainly to more stable food prices during the month, the Department of Finance (DOF) said yesterday.

In its latest economic bulletin, the DOF said inflation may have settled at 3.2 percent in November, lower than the intra-year high of 3.5 percent in October. The figure, however, was still higher than the 2.5 percent recorded last year.

The projected inflation for the month is broadly in line with the government’s two to four percent target for the year.

The DOF said lower food prices during the month may have offset the increases in the prices of fuel and power rates in November.

Based on DOF data, the increase in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages in November is expected to be at 2.9 percent, lower than last month’s 3.6 percent.

Price increases of alcoholic beverages and tobacco also slowed at 6.2 percent from 6.8 percent.

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On the other hand, other commodity groups are expected to post increases in prices, such as furnishings and household equipment (1.9 percent from 1.8 percent); recreation and culture (1.6 percent from 1.5 percent); and restaurant and miscellaneous services (2.7 percent from 2.6 percent).

Price increases of housing, utilities and fuels also accelerated to 4.2 percent from four percent.

Particularly, power rates of the Manila Electric Co. for households consuming 200 kilowatt hour (kwh) in November rose to P9.63 per kwh from P9.28 a month ago.

The price of diesel also increased to P35.37 per liter from P34.51 in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Meanwhile, increases in the prices of clothing and footwear (1.9 percent), health (2.2 percent), transport (4.2 percent), and communication (0.4 percent) are expected to stay at the same level.

According to the DOF, the country’s strong fundamentals, as shown by the manageable inflation level, would help sustain the Philippines’ growth path.

“Adequate supply of goods from higher production will further dampen inflation rise in the future. This will likewise temper the rise in interest rates despite the ongoing Fed tightening,” the DOF said.

Economic expansion in the third quarter settled at 6.9 percent. For the whole year, economic managers penned a GDP growth of between 6.5 and 7.5 percent.

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