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PIA Press Release
2009/02/09

RP's inflation rate drops anew in January

by Jemin B. Guillermo

Roxas City (9 February) -- Despite the global economic meltdown, the Philippines' inflation rate drops further in January this year.

In an online report, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said that the country's headline inflation rate further dropped to 7.1 percent last month year-on-year from 8 percent in December last year.

BSP Officer-In-Charge Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. noted that the inflation rate in January was the lowest since March last year.

The lower prices of fuel and transportation and communication services, and slower increases in the prices of most commodity groups accounted for the continued slowdown of inflation in January.

The core inflation, which excludes certain specific food and energy items to obtain an underlying measure of generalized price pressures, was also lower at 6.9 percent year-on-year in January from 7.3 percent in December.

Meanwhile, month-on-month headline inflation turned positive in January at 0.3 percent after being negative for four consecutive months, the report said.

The BSP revealed that the slower year-on-year increases in the prices of fruits and vegetables and cereal preparation drove food inflation lower, while the rollbacks in the pump prices of petroleum products kept fuel, and pushed transportation and communication services, inflation in negative territory.

The report also disclosed that the rentals and light inflation were also lower in January.

Espenilla pointed out that the continued moderation in the inflation outlook has provided the central bank greater flexibility in monetary policy, as evident in its preemptive approach towards ensuring that there is sufficient liquidity in the financial markets and in cushioning growth prospects.

He vowed that the BSP will continue to be watchful of domestic and external developments that could affect price stability, an essential element to sustainable economic growth. (PIA) [top]

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