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PIA Press Release

Stronger peso further slows down September inflation to 5.7 percent

Iloilo City (6 October) -- The strengthening of the peso and the softening of fuel prices contributed to the further slide of the country's headline inflation rate in September 2006 at 5.7 percent, said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri in a press report.

Preliminary report released by the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed that headline inflation rate continues its slowdown since June 2004 at 5.7 percent in September 2006 as all commodity groups except clothing registered lower inflation rates.

The NSO report indicated that inflation in clothing remained at 3.1 percent for the past three months.

Neri, who is also the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director-general said the September inflation brought the year-to-date inflation rate at 6.8 percent which is already below the official inflation forecast of 6.9 - 7.0 percent for 2006.

The NSO report further showed that on a month - on month basis, consumer prices declined in September by 0.1 percent due to the drop in both food and non-food items indices by 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent respectively. Reduction in the prices of heavily weighted food items like seafoods, chicken, pork, fruits and vegetables pulled down the overall price index. The nationwide price decreases in gasoline and diesel contributed also to the downtrend.

It was also indicated in the NSO report that the core inflation slowed to 5.0 percent from 5.3 percent in August suggesting lower inflation in the coming months according to Neri.

Along with low inflation, the peso's rise will continue to have an impact on the welfare of consumers at the grassroot level. The rise is also an indication of the over all discipline and spirit of enterprise of the Filipino. (PIA) [top]

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