MANILA – Trade secretary Ramon Lopez expects prices of goods to continue to decline in the first quarter of 2019 due to the decreasing oil prices and strengthening of the Philippine peso.
Lopez said although prices have decreased following the easing of inflation rate at 6 percent last month, consumers may start to feel the decline in prices of basic and prime commodities in the first quarter next year.
“Current stocks of manufactured basic and prime goods in the market were produced during the third quarter of this year when inflation, fuel price, foreign exchange rate, and other factors surged. As these began to decline in the last quarter of this year, we can expect that goods produced in this period using cost components that are acquired at lower prices will be distributed in the market early next year,” Lopez said in a statement Thursday.
The Department of Trade and Industry noted that Dubai crude oil price dropped by 14 percent from an average of USD79 per barrel in October to USD68 per barrel in November.
On the other hand, the local currency continues to gain strength against the greenback as it now settles around the P52-level from P54-to-a-dollar level in September.
Aside from these global and local developments, supply conditions of rice and other agricultural commodities have stabilized that helped in easing inflation.
DTI stressed that it will continue to closely monitor the prices of goods and raw materials, and ensure that prices of basic and prime goods are being felt by consumers. (PNA/PN)