Consumer prices rose to its fastest pace in more than five years in May, the government reported this morning.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said May inflation rose to 4.6% from the 4.5% logged in April and 2.9% in the same period last year. Last month’s print was the fastest in at least five years as computed under the 2012-based consumer price index, according to PSA data.
The preliminary result is slower than the 4.9% median forecast in a BusinessWorld poll of 10 economists as well as the estimate given by the Department of Finance for the month.
The May print also settled at the low end of the 4.6%-5.4% forecast range for the month given by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Meanwhile, core inflation – which excludes volatile food and energy prices – rose to 3.6% in May from 3.5% in April.
Year to date, headline inflation for the year remained at 4.1%, above the 2-4% target band set by the BSP for 2018.
The PSA attributed the acceleration to the faster annual gains recorded in alcoholic beverages and tobacco (20.5%); furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house (2.9%); transport (6.2%); and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services (3.7%).
“A slower annual rate was, however, recorded in food and non-alcoholic beverages index at 5.7%. The rest of the commodity groups retained their previous month’s growths,” PSA said in a statement.
The food alone index, meanwhile, remained at 5.5%, matching the previous month’s reading, but was faster than the 3.1% in May 2017. — Ranier Olson R. Reusora