MANILA - Consumer prices likely rose 4.1 percent in February due to higher tobacco prices, the Department of Finance said Monday, on the eve of the release of official inflation data.
Prices of tobacco products increased last month due to higher excise taxes and a price adjustment by Mighty Corp so that the company can comply with tax laws, the DOF said in a statement.
"These are non-essential and are even harmful, products which we want the general public to steer clear away from on health reasons," the department said.
Tobacco or so-called "sin" products account for 0.4 percentage point of the 4.1-percent forecast for February, it said.
Prices of food and non-food items were "relatively unchanged" during the period, it said.
Inflation picked up to 4 percent in January, the top end of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' 2 to 4 percent target.