GROWTH in wholesale prices of general goods slowed to 8% in July from 9% a month earlier, led by an easing in food prices, according to the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA).

The general wholesale price index for July was, however, much higher than the 2.9% growth rate posted a year earlier, according to preliminary PSA data.

The July reading was the lowest since the 7.9% posted in May.

Nearly all commodities posted year-on-year growth in July except for crude materials, inedible except fuels, which declined by 2.5%.

Of the eight commodity categories, four posted slower year-on-year growth, led by food, which eased to 11% from 11.4%; mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (49.2% from 59.9%), chemicals including animal and vegetable oils and fats (5.1% from 5.9%), and manufactured goods classified chiefly by materials (5.5% from 8.8%).

Price growth of beverages and tobacco rose to 7.6% from 7.4% in June. This was followed by miscellaneous manufactured articles, up 2.1%, reversing a 0.6% decline a month earlier.

Price growth in machinery and transport equipment was unchanged at 1.4%.

Price growth accelerated in the Visayas and Mindanao to 6.4% (from 5.2%), and 5.1% (from 4.6%), respectively. Price growth in Luzon slowed to 8.2% from 9.4% in June. — Mariedel Irish U. Catilogo