MANILA – The country’s inflation rate slowed down to 2.6 percent in February, from previous month’s 2.9 percent on the back of cheaper food, electricity and fuel costs.
January’s figure brought the average inflation rate to 2.8 percent in the first two months of the year.
“The main sources of the downtrend in February 2020 inflation was the slower annual increment in transport especially the annual increase in petroleum and fuels for personal transport equipment,” Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Assistant Secretary and Deputy National Statistician Lourdines dela Cruz said in a press briefing Thursday.
Divina Gracia del Prado, PSA Assistant National Statistician, attributed this to the effect of the reduction in the prices of petroleum products.
“We had a (price) rollback in February, we are seeing the effect of the rollback for our inflation in transport,” Del Prado said.
Dela Cruz said alcoholic beverages and tobacco, and heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages also pushed down the overall inflation last month.
He said higher inflation was noted in the index of furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, while the other commodity groups maintained their previous month’s annual growth rates.
Inflation in the National Capital Region (NCR) declined to 2 percent in February from 3.8 percent during the same period last year, while that in areas outside NCR also slowed down to 2.8 percent from 3.8 percent, he added.
The PSA reported that excluding selected food and energy items, core inflation also eased to 3.2 percent in February 2020 from 3.9 percent last year. (ia/PNA)