Palace hails slower 3.8% inflation in February

by Azer Parrocha | National News

MANILA — Malacañang on Tuesday welcomed the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report showing that inflation finally hit its target as it further slowed down to 3.8 percent in February 2019.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said this deceleration showed that the government policies to ease inflation have been effective.

“The Palace welcomes this positive development as proof that the macroeconomic policies of the Duterte administration have been effective in addressing soaring prices,” Panelo said in a statement.

According to the PSA, price growth remained at 3.8 percent in February, slower than the 4.4 percent recorded in January 2019.

The PSA attributed the slowdown in inflation to the slower annual increase in the “index of the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages at 4.7 percent”.

Moreover, PSA said that “annual gains were also slower in the indices of other commodity groups, except for communication and education”.

“The education index continued to post a negative annual rate of 3.8 percent. Moreover, inflation for communication remained at 0.4 percent,” it added.

Panelo said that government will continue to guard prices of basic goods as it expects inflation to further improve.

“We expect further improvement and disinflation as we continue to remain vigilant in monitoring the prices of basic goods used by ordinary Filipino consumers,” he added.

Earlier, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas forecast inflation in February 2019 to range between 3.7 percent to 4.5 percent, driven by higher domestic oil prices and higher electricity rates.

Monetary officials expect inflation to return within the 2 to 4 percent target starting in the first quarter of this year. (PNA)

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