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CV inflation rate remains unchanged

CEBU, Philippines — The growth in consumer prices in Central Visayas remained unchanged last month as national inflation also slowed down due to lower food prices.

Data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority showed yesterday that Region 7's headline inflation in November stood at 3 percent, unchanged from the month prior.

Price growth of food and non-alcoholic beverages in Central Visayas also remained stable at 3.4 percent last month, unchanged from the month prior.

However, prices of utilities – which include housing, fuel, electricity and water – recorded an uptick of 4.8 percent last month from the 4.5 percent price growth in October.

Meanwhile, lower food prices slowed national headline inflation in November following four consecutive months of acceleration.

Based on the PSA data, headline inflation rate for November reached 3.3 percent, lower than 3.5 percent recorded the previous month.

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“Inflation during the last eleven months suggests that the full year average might settle slightly above midpoint, but will still be well within our target of 2 to 4 percent. This already considers expected price spikes owing to holiday season spending this December,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a statement yesterday.

It was within the central bank's 2.9 to 3.6 percent projection for the month.

The November rate brought average inflation this year to 3.2 percent, above the midpoint of the government's target range of 2 to 4 percent.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel items, stood at 3.3 percent, slightly faster than October's 3.2 percent.

Inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages eased to 3.2 percent in November 2017, lower than October’s 3.6 percent. This was the lowest rate recorded since October 2016.

This can be attributed to lower prices of vegetables, sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery, fruits, oils and fats, and rice.

Meanwhile, non-food inflation slightly increased to 3.3 percent in November 2017 from the previous month’s 3.2 percent.

“Over the near term, we still expect risks coming from both domestic and external fronts,” Pernia said.

On the external front, he said higher international crude oil prices is anticipated following oil production cuts from OPEC until end 2018.

On the domestic front, higher electricity rates and increasing coal and domestic fuel prices will also continue to exert pressures on headline inflation in the near term.

“Overall, however, the inflation outlook for full year 2017 remains supportive of the current economic growth momentum of the country,” Pernia said. (FREEMAN)

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