Retail price growth in Metro Manila slowed to a nine-month low in April, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Wednesday.

National Capital Region (NCR) retail price growth, as measured by the general retail price index, which has a reference year of 2012, rose 5.4% year on year in April.

This represents a growth slowdown from the 6% registered in March but an acceleration from the year-earlier rate of 3.5%.

General Retail Price Index in the National Capital Region

The latest reading was the lowest since the 5.1% growth logged in July 2022.

It was also the second straight month of easing growth from the 14-year peak of 6.6% in February.

The PSA attributed the April slowdown to accelerating price declines for mineral fuels, lubricants, and related materials, which contracted 8.4% year on year after a 2.9% decline in March.

The heavily-weighted food index, which accounts for nearly 38% of the basket of goods, also contributed to the downward pressure, the PSA said. Food price growth eased to 10.6% in April from 11.1% in March. It remains elevated relative to the 3.6% posted a year earlier.

Prices of manufactured goods classified chiefly by materials increased 2.8% in April, cooling down from 3.6% in March. It was still above the 2.6% rate posted in April 2022.

Price growth in crude materials picked up to 6.9% in April from 6.5% the preceding month and reversing the 0.5% decline registered a year earlier.

Growth in the index of beverages and tobacco was unchanged from March at 7%. The year-earlier rate was 3.8%.