February Inflation At 2.6% but PH Braces for Price Spikes

Inflation eased to 2.6 percent in February even as the economy braces for possibly faster-than-expected increases in consumer prices as China’s manufacturing sector reels from COVID-19.

The Philippine Statistics Authority’s deputy national statistician, Lourdines dela Cruz, told a press briefing on Thursday that inflation last month slowed from 3.8 percent in 2019 and 2.9 percent last January, bringing the two-month average to 2.8 percent or well-within the government’s two to four percent target range for this year.

The lower rate of increase in prices of basic commodities last month was due to slower increases in costs of transport, alcohol, tobacco, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels.

On a month-on-month basis, average consumer prices declined 0.2 percent in February, reversing the 0.5-percent increase last January, when higher taxes on alcohol, cigarettes, and oil products took effect.

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