MANILA – Malacañang on Thursday said the slight uptick in inflation in May should not be a cause for concern given that it remained within the forecast of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday that inflation edged up slightly to 3.2 percent in May after hitting a 16-month low of 3 percent in April. However, the latest figure is within the BSP’s forecast of 2.8 to 3.6 percent for the period.
According to Socioeconomic Planning secretary Ernesto Pernia, faster price adjustments in food and non-alcoholic beverages were behind the uptick in headline inflation “as weak El Niño conditions persisted, and brought significant damage to the agriculture sector in the midst of the election period’s strong consumption demand.”
“Both factors are expected however to taper down,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
Panelo said they expect rice prices to fall down further when the the full impact of rice trade liberalization is felt. He said the current rice and corn price index already showed a decline of 0.7 percent and 2.8 percent, respectively.
“We assure our countrymen that the minimal increase in the inflation rate is a circumstance that does not toll the alarm bells,” Panelo said.
The government set a full-year 2019 inflation target of 2 to 4 percent. (GMA News)