World Economy

Philippine Inflation at 20-Year Low

Philippine Inflation at 20-Year LowPhilippine Inflation at 20-Year Low

Philippine headline inflation hit its slowest pace in 20 years in May at 1.6 percent, according to the latest figures announced Friday by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) earlier said May’s 1.6 percent rate was the slowest since 1998, NewsNow reported.

Using 2006 as the current base year, the NEDA said inflation in May covered the monthly inflation series from 1995 to May 2015.

The NEDA figures show the May rate touched the lower end of the central bank’s forecast range of between 1.6 percent and 2.4 percent, and stood below analysts’ consensus estimate of 2 percent, with the cost of housing, utilities, fuels and communications sustaining a downward trend.

Growth in consumer prices decelerated from 2.2 percent in April and 4.5 percent in May last year.

Core inflation (excluding food energy prices) at 2.2% in May Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, fell to 2.2 percent in May from 2.5 percent in April, and from 3.1 percent recorded a year earlier, PSA data shows.

Core inflation from January to May averaged 2.5 percent. Including those prices, headline inflation for the year-to-date averaged 2.2 percent.

The PSA said housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels and communications prices continued to show annual declines in May.

Also contributing to the slowdown were lower annual increments in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages; tobacco; clothing and footwear; and furnishing, household equipment and routine house maintenance.