Inflation in Central Visayas quickens to 5.1% in February

·4 min read

CENTRAL Visayas should brace for higher inflation rates due to the rising fuel prices since February this year.

“Possible mosaka pana siya basta kay ang trend karon kon atong tan-awon monthly from year 2021, unya musolod nata sa 2022, grabe gyud kaayo ang pagspike,” said engineer Leopoldo Alfanta Jr., Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) 7 chief statistical specialist.

(It’s possible that inflation could still go up. If you look at the trend monthly from year 2021, the spike has been severe.)

The inflation rate in Central Visayas for February 2022 has further accelerated to 5.1 percent, which is almost five times higher compared to the same period last year.

Reports from the PSA 7 showed that inflation in the region was only at 1.1 percent in February 2021 but it accelerated to five percent in January this year.

The February 5.1 inflation rate is said to be the highest since January 2019 which only logged four percent. This was also higher compared to the country’s February inflation rate which was at three percent.

The uptrend in the inflation was reportedly due to the increase in the inflation of the transport index which was 4.8 percent from the -4 percent in January 2022.

This was also brought about by the increase in the indices of commodity groups during the month including alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 5.3 percent; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels at 4.6 percent; and restaurants and accommodation services at 1.3 percent.

Alfanta noted that Central Visayas was among the few regions in the country with low inflation rates in 2021 at 1.1 percent.

He, however, said other commodity groups have slowed down, particularly the food and non-alcoholic beverages with 7.9 percent in February this year compared to 10.4 in January; furnishing, household equipment and routine household maintenance at 5.3 from 5.5 percent; personal care, miscellaneous goods and services at 1.9 percent from two percent.

Indices among the rest of the commodity groups have retained their previous annual increment rates, particularly the financial services with 45.1 percent; health with 3.3 percent; clothing and footwear with 0.6 percent; recreation, and sport and culture with 0.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Central Visayas was posted at 108.8 in February this year, which means that on average prices of goods and services have increased by 8.8 percent from 2018 base year.

The CPI of the region in February 2022 increased by 5.12 percent from February 2021 and decreased by 0.18 percent from January 2022.

CPI is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services.

The Purchasing Power of Peso in Central Visayas, on the other hand, was posted at 0.92 percent in February 2022, which is lower compared to the same period last year at 0.97 percent.

Regional economies recovered

Meanwhile, in a separate report, all economies of 17 regions recovered from the 2020 global pandemic and recorded positive growths in 2021.

Calabarzon posted the fastest growth at 7.6 percent in 2021 while the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Cordillera Administrative Region followed at 7.5 percent each.

All regional economies registered growth in 2021, the PSA said.

Other regions with growth above the national level were Central Luzon, 7.4 percent; Caraga, 7.2 percent; Northern Mindanao, 6.3 percent; Eastern Visayas, six percent; Western Visayas, 5.9 percent; Davao Region, 5.9 percent; and Zamboanga Peninsula, 5.7 percent.

At the national level, the gross domestic product rebounded by 5.7 percent in 2021 from last year’s negative decline of 9.5 percent with 15 out of 16 major industries recording positive growths except for agriculture, forestry and fishing.

The industries with highest growths were human health and social work activities, 14.1 percent; construction, 10 percent; and information and communication, 9.2 percent.

At the expenditure side, expeditures with highest growths were gross capital formation, 20.3 percent; imports of goods and services, 13.0 percent; and exports of goods and services, eight percent. (MKG WITH KOC)

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