August Inflation slowest in three years

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Inflation softened at its slowest pace in three years in August, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported this morning.

Headline inflation, which denotes the general increase in prices of widely used goods, was at 1.7% in August, slower than the 2.4% print in July and 6.4% in August 2018.

The August reading matched the 1.7% logged in September 2016 and was the slowest in three years or since the 1.3% inflation rate in August 2016.

Last month’s inflation fell at the midpoint of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) 1.3%-2.1% forecast for the month. It was, however, lower than the 1.8% median estimate in BusinessWorld‘s poll of 12 economists late last week.

Year-to-date, inflation is at 3%, which is within the BSP’s 2-4% target range for 2019, albeit still above the BSP’s 2.6% forecast for the entire year.

Core inflation, which strips commodities prone to volatile price swings, cooled to 2.9% in August from 3.2% in July and 4.8% in August 2018. — Mark T. Amoguis