NSO reports rise in Bicol’s inflation rate

LEGAZPI CITY — The year-on-year inflation rate of Bicol Region continued to slow down at 3.8 per cent in August from 3.9 per cent in July. However, compared to the 1.6 per cent inflation rate in the same period last year, the August 2010 rate was higher by 2.2 percentage points.

The slight decrease in the inflation rate for August can be attributed to the decline in the annual price increments recorded in the fuel, light and water index (6.4 per cent from 7.7 percent); services (2.2 percent from 2.7 percent); and clothing (1.2 percent from 1.3 percent).

On the other hand, the previous moth’s annual inflation rate was maintained in the indices of the remaining commodity groups as follows: food, beverages and tobacco (4.5 percent), housing & repairs (1.8 percent) and miscellaneous items (2.1 percent).

Across provinces, higher annual inflation rates were noted in Albay (3.2 percent from 3.0 percent), Camarines Norte (4.7 percent from 3.8 percent) and Catanduanes (3.4 percent from 3.3 percent). On the other hand, a slower rate compared to the previous month was recorded in Camarines Sur (3.6 percent from 3.8 percent), Masbate (4.0 percent from 5.1 percent) and Sorsogon (4.5 percent from 4.8 percent).

Price Situation: Month-On-Month

On a month-to-month basis, the consumer price index (CPI) for all income households in the region was registered at 167.3 in August 2010, slightly higher by 0.6 index point than the July CPI of 166.7. In terms of rate, the all items month-on-month inflation rate was registered at 0.4 percent in August from zero growth in July.

The overall rate of food, beverages and tobacco (FBT) index increased to 0.7 percent in August from 0.1 percent in July. The increase in FBT was influenced by the higher price increments in the indices of cereal and cereal preparation (.07 percent from 0.0 percent), dairy products (0.2 percent from 0.1 percent), eggs (0.4 percent from 0.1 percent), fruits & vegetables (2.1 percent from 1.6 percent) and miscellaneous foods (1.8 percent from 1.2 percent).

Upward adjustments in the prices of sugar and cooking oil pulled up the miscellaneous foods index to its current rate. The effect of those increases were counteracted by the negative rates recorded in fish (-0.9 percent from -1.8 percent) and meat (-0.1 percent from 0.5 percent). Enough supply of selected fish species and broiler chicken in the markets primarily brought down the fish and meat indices at its respective rates. Meanwhile, the same rate as in July was registered in the indices of beverages (0.1 percent) and tobacco (0.3 percent).

Under the no-food group, prices of housing and repairs item items continued to post a zero growth since June 2010. On the other hand, the fuel, light and water index (FLW) still posed a negative rate (-0.7 percent from -0.9 percent) due to the price decline in LPG. Similarly, services index recorded a negative rate (-0.1 percent from 0.2 percent) because of the rollbacks in the prices of gasoline and diesel. On the other hand, the previous month’s rate was maintained in the indices of clothing and miscellaneous items at 0.1 percent. Overall rate or non-food remained negative at -0.2 percent from -0.1 percent.

With such prices of the commodities and services, the Bicol Region’s purchasing power of peso (PPP) remained at P0.60. Across provinces, the previous month’s PPP was maintained in Albay (P0.59), Camarines Sur (P0.62), Catanduanes (P0.55), Masbate (P0.60) and Sorsogon (P0.59). On the other hand, PPP in Camarines Norte declined by one centavo at P0.58 from P0.59.

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