Philippines Inflation Slows In December

The Philippines’ headline inflation slowed for the fifth month in a row to the lowest for the year and core price growth eased in December, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed on Wednesday.

The consumer price index rose 3.6 percent annually in December, following a 4.2 percent increase in November. Economists had expected a 3.8 percent rise.

The average inflation for the year 2021 was 4.5 percent versus 2.6 percent in 2020.

The statistical office attributed the latest easing in headline inflation to the slower annual increase in food and non-alcoholic beverages at 3.1 percent versus 3.9 percent in November.

Food inflation slowed to 3.2 percent from 4.1 percent.

On the other hand, prices rose at a faster pace for utilities at 5.0 percent, and for communication at 0.3 percent.

Education costs rose 0.7 percent for the third month in a row.

Core inflation, which excludes prices of selected food and energy items, eased to 3.0 percent in December from 3.3 percent in the previous month.

The annual average core inflation for the year was 3.3 percent versus 3.2 percent in 2020.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 0.3 percent in December, after a 0.7 percent rise in the previous month.

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