DAVAO CITY – An official of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) has expressed concern over the decelerating inflation rate, which reached 2.6 percent in February from 2.9 percent in January.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Thursday that compared to the 3.8 percent a year ago, the downtrend in inflation was brought about by the slower annual increase in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
In an interview on Friday, DCCCII president John Carlo Tria underscored the need to protect the country’s economic growth because it would build economic activities for the people and attract investors.
Tria said he hopes that the inflation level would be maintained because managed levels would allow the Filipinos’ purchasing power to increase as growth rises.
“Low inflation levels will allow us to protect the growth we have been achieving, as this will mean higher purchasing power for businesses as people can spend more and drive economic expansion, especially in the rural areas, from which our food is supplied,” he said.
Tria also noted that if people choose to buy locally-made products, the economic activity would also improve.
“That’s why when you measure rates, these are rates of increase. If the products are so pricey, people will get thrifty. The sales and production of a certain company will also be affected since they will no longer (produce) due to their unsold merchandise,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
However, Tria said one of the factors challenging economic growth in the country is the occurrence of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“Covid-19 threatens industries like manufacturing and tourism. If these sectors will continue to get affected, economic growth will be compromised,” Tria said.
On the other hand, DCCCII executive vice president Belinda Torres said latest data from the PSA bodes well for economic growth in the medium term.
“Maintaining inflation targets keeps our economic growth strong, especially now with the threat of Covid-19 making it hard for some trade and tourism sectors,” Torres added. (PNA)