Philippine inflation rate to remain at 2 to 4% in 2019

The National Economic and Development Authority expects Philippine inflation rate to remain within the government’s target of 2 to 4 percent by the end of 2019.

The country’s headline inflation eased to 2.4 percent in July 2019, bringing the year-to-date inflation to 3.3 percent.

NEDA attributed the low inflation rate to slower price increases in food and non-alcoholic beverages and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels in July 2019. This was the slowest inflation recorded since December 2016’s 2.2 percent and was the same rate for July 2017.

Rice deflation also was observed for the third consecutive month, reaching -2.9 percent in July 2019.

“We welcome this decelerating trend in prices but we remain on guard against possible upside risks such as adverse weather conditions, possible entry of the African swine fever, and uncertainty in the global oil market, among others,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said.

Secretary Pernia says government agencies such as Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, and the National Food Authority should ensure sufficient supply of basic food commodities, in view of the expected tropical cyclones

As part the government’s continued efforts to prevent the entry of African swine fever (ASF) into the country, the Food and Drug Administration temporarily banned the importation of pork meat products from Hong Kong, North Korea, and Germany, alongside 17 other ASF-infected areas.

“The concerned authorities should intensify its market surveillance to ensure the compliance of importers and retailers with the government’s directive. The government should also ensure that there is sufficient production of pork and other meat products locally as the threat of the epidemic is seen to continue in the near term,” Pernia added.