NEDA downplays African swine fever impact on inflation

MANILA – The African swine fever (ASF) situation will not have a significant impact on consumer prices, with inflation rate expected to average below target of 3.2 percent this year, according to the country’s chief economist.

“I don’t think (its impact is) significant. Inflation is not going to spike for sure,” Socioeconomic Planning secretary Ernesto Pernia told reporters Monday.

He did not consider the ASF situation a risk in inflation expectations for the remainder of the year.

The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that some hogs have died from the ASF. Fourteen out of the 20 blood samples from the infected hogs sent to the United Kingdom for laboratory testing came out positive of the virus.

“Chicken is okay, people are able to substitute chicken for pork,” Pernia, also the Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority, added.

The country’s headline inflation eased to 1.7 percent in August 2019, its slowest pace in almost three years, bringing the year-to-date inflation to 3 percent.

The Philippine Statistics Authority attributed last month’s slowdown of inflation mainly to the slower annual increase in the index of the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages, which included rice, corn, meat, fish, and vegetables. (PNA)


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