MANILA (UPDATE 2) - Inflation further quickened to 6.1 percent in June as food and fuel prices continued to rise, the state statistics bureau said on Tuesday.
This was also the highest inflation rate since October 2018, or almost 4 years.
“The uptrend of inflation for June 2022 was primarily brought about by the higher annual growth rate in the index for food and non-alcoholic beverages at 6.0 percent, from 4.9 percent in the previous month,” the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Transport costs meanwhile grew by 17.1 percent annually, from 14.6 percent in May, the PSA noted.
The inflation rate in June was again above the 2 to 4 percent target range of government economic managers, and higher than the 5.4 percent level seen in May and the 4.9 percent rate seen in April.
But it was within the 5.7 to 6.5 percent forecast of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
National Statistician Dennis Mapa said food prices, particularly meat, fish and vegetables had double-digit annual increases in prices.
He added that they expect inflation to continue rising based on the data they gathered so far.
“Kung titingnan natin yung datos, ang slope trajectory natin sa presyo, yung overall inflation mula February, ito ay steep, at sa tingin namin di pa natin naaabot yung peak,” Mapa said.
(If we look at the data, the slope trajectory of prices, the overall inflation since February, it is steep, and we think that we haven’t yet reached the peak.)
“Nakikita pa rin namin na initial, particularly dito sa food products, na patuloy yung pagtaas,” he added.
(We can see from the initial data, particularly on food products, that the price increases continue.)
Bank of the Philippine Islands also said that “inflation has probably not peaked yet.”
“The headline figure may continue to go up until October assuming oil prices will stay at current levels. In this scenario, average inflation is expected to settle between 5 to 5.5 percent,” BPI said in a statement following the release of official inflation figures.
BPI also said that food prices will continue to push up inflation in the coming months given the shortage of certain items in the international market amid the conflict in Ukraine and the trade restrictions being put in place by exporting countries like India and Indonesia.
The BSP has already raised its benchmark rate by 50 basis points to 2.5 percent this year to help tame inflation.
However, the central bank has also said that inflation is not likely to settle within the country’s target range until 2024.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr meanwhile said he “disagrees” with the 6.1 percent inflation rate reported by the PSA.