By Erwin Nicavera
BACOLOD CITY — The higher inflation in Western Visayas in January has a “very minimal effect” on the overall economy of the region, a business leader here said on Monday.
Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), said the one-percent increase in prices of consumer goods is within the affordability range of the consumers.
Records of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that from 2.2 percent in December 2019, the region’s inflation rate rose to 3.2 percent last month.
Western Visayas’ inflation is higher than the national headline inflation rate of 2.9 percent.
The upward movement has been attributed to increases in the inflation of most commodity groups.
For business, Carbon said last month’s inflation showed that the demand was still strong.
“Production continues and job creation is sustained. The development cycle is on track,” he added.
However, the labor sector has raised concerns about the increase in regional inflation.
Wennie Sancho, secretary-general of General Alliance of Workers Associations (GAWA), said there is an increase in the prices of fish, vegetables, and other basic commodities, and also of petroleum products.
“(And) we might be badly-hit by the economic impact of novel coronavirus outbreak,” he said. (PNA)