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Inflation slips to 2.8% in January, lowest since Oct. 2020 

by Carl Santos

INFLATION slipped further to 2.8% in January, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed Tuesday. 

It was the fourth straight month of declining inflation, or the rate of increase in prices over a specific period of time, and within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ forecast of 2.8% to 3.6%.

The PSA said it was also the lowest inflation rate since the 2.3% recorded in October 2020.

“The downtrend in the overall inflation in January 2024 was primarily brought about by the slower annual increment of food and non-alcoholic beverages at 3.5% in January 2024 from 5.4% in the previous month,” the PSA said. 

“Also contributing to the downtrend was housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels with slower annual increase of 0.7% during the month from 1.5% in December 2023.”

Anunual decreases were also noted in commodity groups such as alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 8.4% from 9.0%; clothing and footwear, 3.8% from 4.2%; furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance, 3.9% from 4.5%; and health, 3.3% from 3.7%, among others.        

Rice inflation, however, increased to 22.6% in January from 19.6% in December 2023.

National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the Inter-Agency Committee on Inflation and Market Outlook (IAC-IMO) will continue to monitor the prices of rice and other goods to provide the President and the Cabinet with timely and appropriate policy recommendations and ensure stable and affordable prices of commodities.  
Balisacan added that with El Niño lingering until May, “we introduce stop-gap measures, as necessary, such as allowing further imports on key commodities until our supply stabilizes at prices affordable to consumers while ensuring remunerative prices for local producers.” 



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