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PIA Press Release

Cheaper fuel, electricity slow down May inflation

Manila (8 June) -- Inflation for May 2010 was recorded at 4.3 percent, slightly lower than the previous month's 4.4 percent, due to the slower pace of increase in the fuel, light and water (FLW) index, based on a report from the National Statistics Office (NSO).

Core inflation, which excludes the prices of selected food and energy items, likewise decelerated to 3.8 percent in May from 4.0 percent in April.

"The lower prices of fuel, electricity, rice, and corn in May helped ease inflation slightly, keeping the year-to-date inflation rate at 4.3 percent, well within the the DBCC target of 3.5 to 5.5 percent," said Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Augusto B. Santos in his memorandum for the President.

Santos noted that electricity billings dropped by 6.5 percent in May as the price of power sourced from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) decreased. In particular, Meralco's generation charge declined by PhP1.26 per kilowatt hour as electricity brought from IPP and WESM became cheaper.

"May fuel prices also declined by 0.3 percent compared to April as the weighted average retail price of petroleum products declined by PhP1.31 per liter from the previous month following the decrease in Dubai crude oil prices from US$83.59/bbl in April to US$80.18/bbl in May," Santos added.

On the other hand, the price of rice decreased by 0.3 percent in May due to the increase in the total rice inventory to 3.32 million metric tons.

"Despite the lower production of palay in the early months of 2010, total palay inventory increased by almost a fifth or 549 thousand metric tons," Santos said.

Additionally, seven out of the 16 regions outside the National Capital Region (NCR) posted negative month-on-month inflation rates for corn in May, resulting in a 0.5 decline in the price of the commodity.

Meanwhile, prices within the National Capital Region (NCR) went down by 4.6 percent in May from the previous month's 5.3 percent increase due to adjustments in fuel and electricity prices. In Areas Outside NCR (AONCR), inflation slightly increased to 4.2 percent. (PIA) [top]

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