Prices growth of widely used goods and services accelerated to its quickest pace in more than three years in April due to faster pickup in food, utilities, and transport prices, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported this morning.

April’s inflation rose by 4.9% from 4% in March and 4.1% in April a year ago, preliminary data from the agency showed.

This was higher than the 4.6% median estimate in a BusinessWorld poll last week and near the upper bound of the 4.2-5% forecast range given by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the month. It also breached the central bank’s 2-4% target range.

It was the quickest pace in 40 months or since the 5.2% print in December 2018.

Month on month, inflation inched up by 0.8%. Seasonally adjusted, April’s inflation steadied by 1% month on month.

Inflation averaged 3.7% in the four months to April, higher than 4.1% seen in the same period last year.

Heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index grew 3.8% in April from 2.6% in March. Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels index rose by 6.9% in from 6.2% the prior month. Transport also climbed 13% from 10.3%.

Meanwhile, the April inflation rate for the bottom 30% of households, which is still using the 2012-based prices, increased by 3.8% from 3.3% in March, but lower than the 4.9% in April 2021.

The PSA said the rebased 2018-based inflation for poor income households is scheduled to be released in December 2022. — K. B. Ta-asan