Inflation hits poorest Filipinos hard in Q2 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The poorest Filipinos felt the harsh impact of inflation during the 2nd quarter of the year, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed on Tuesday, July 31.

The agency said the country's year-on-year inflation for the bottom 30% income households went up by 6.5% in the 2nd quarter of 2018. This was higher than the 5.3% increase in the 1st quarter of 2018 and 2.7% in the 2nd quarter of the previous year.

The figure is also higher than the recorded 5.2% headline inflation in June, which was a 5-year high using base year 2012. (READ: [OPINION] Why inflation is actually at a 9-year high)

The indices of all commodity groups also posted higher rates during the quarter.

Food alone jumped by 6.2%, while rice prices jumped by 4.9%. Fruits and vegetables rose by 7.5%, dairy products by 2.1%, and corn posted a double-digit increase of 10.8%.

On the other hand, increases in the indices of fish and meat slowed down to 11.1% and 6%, respectively. 

The poor in the National Capital Region (NCR) felt 6.6% inflation during the period.

This was mainly due to the higher annual increase in the food, beverage and tobacco index. Prices of fuel, electricity, and water also contributed to the spike.

Inflation for the bottom 30% income households outside the NCR picked up by 6.5% during the 2nd quarter.

The highest increase was in the Davao Region at 8%, while the lowest remained in Mimaropa at 4%.

Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo met with President Rodrigo Duterte's economic managers on Tuesday, July 31, to discuss the soaring inflation.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said they noted that rice tariffication would help curb rising prices.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas economists projected that inflation could reach as high as 5.8% in July– Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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