(MNS Photo)

MANILA, Feb 4 (Mabuhay) –Inflation or the rate of increase in the prices of goods and services continued its downtrend in January 2022, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Friday.

Inflation clocked in at 3% last month, slower than the 3.6% rate recorded in December 2021, using base year 2012.

Computed using base year 2018, the December 2021 inflation print was at 3.2%, still faster compared to January 2022 inflation rate.

Starting with the month of January 2022, the PSA will report inflation using the rebased consumer price index (CPI) to base year 2018 from base year 2021, pursuant to PSA Board Resolution No. 15 series of 2021.

The Statistics agency rebases the CPI every six years to ensure that the CPI market basket continues to capture goods and services commonly purchased by households overtime, update expenditure patterns of households, and synchronize its base year with the gross domestic product and other indices produced by the PSA.

“Ang dahilan ng pagbagal ng antas ng inflation nitong Enero 2022 ay ang mas mabagal na paggalaw ng presyo ng Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas, and Other Fuels na may 4.5% inflation at 77.1% share sa pagbaba ng pangkalahatang inflation sa bansa,” National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said at a virtual press briefing.

“Ito ay dahil sa mas mabagal na pagtaas ng presyo ng mga LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), na may inflation na 18.3%; at Kuryente, na may 12.6% inflation,” Mapa said.

Also contributing to the downtrend in the overall inflation in January 2022 was the lower annual increments registered in the indices of the following commodity groups:

Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 5.6% from 6.2%

Health, 3.1% from 3.2%

Recreation, sport and culture, 1.5% from 1.6%

Education services, 0.6% from 0.7%

Restaurants and accommodation services, 3% from 3.2%

The indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, and financial services retained their previous month’s annual growth rates of 1.6% and 43.3%, respectively.

Food inflation, meanwhile, remained at 1.6% at the national level.

By food group, the annual growth rate of the index of rice went up to 1% during the month, from -0.1% in the previous month, while fish and other seafood retained its previous month’s annual rate of 6.2%.

In a separate statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said the January 2022 inflation of 3% is consistent with the central bank’s expectations that inflation will decelerate further in coming months, reverting back to the target range over the policy horizon.

“Given a manageable inflation outlook, the BSP sees ample scope to keep a patient hand on its various policy levers, while keeping an eye on potential risks to inflation and the financial system,” the central bank said.

The BSP said it stands ready to respond to emerging developments in keeping with its primary mandate to promote price and financial stability conducive to sustainable economic growth.

“The Monetary Board will review its assessment of the inflation outlook along with the latest GDP outturn in its monetary policy meeting on 17 February 2022,” it said.

Inflation in NCR, outside Metro Manila

Inflation in the National Capital Region (NCR) followed the overall trend as it recorded a slower rate of 1.3% in January 2022 from 2.1% in December 2021.

This is on the back of further decline in the annual growth rate of food and non-alcoholic beverages index to -3.0% during the month, from -1.1% in the previous month.

Meanwhile, inflation in areas outside Metro Manila grew faster to 3.5% from 3.4% due to higher annual hikes observed in the indices of food and non-alcoholic beverages at 2.5%; clothing and footwear at 2.3%; transport at 7%; information and communication, 0.8%; and personal care, and miscellaneous goods and services at 2.3%.

Eight regions in areas outside NCR registered higher inflation during January 2022 than their annual growth rates in the previous month, according to the PSA.

Region IX or Zamboanga Peninsula exhibited the highest inflation at 6%, while Region II or Cagayan Valley had the lowest inflation at 1.7%.

Inflation for bottom 30%

The inflation felt by the for the bottom 30% income households continued to decline as it decelerated further to 3.2% in January 2022, from 3.3% in December 2021.

The lower annual increment in the index of housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels at 3.9% during the month, from 4.2% in the previous month primarily contributed to the downtrend in the overall inflation in January 2022. (MNS)

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