Inflation to slow in November as price-taming steps take hold: Pernia


Posted at Nov 07 2018 09:55 AM

MANILA -- Inflation could slow "easily below 6.5 percent" in November, once government's price-taming measures take full effect, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said Wednesday.

Consumer prices rose 6.7 percent in October, the same rate as in the previous month, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported. Pernia said he expected a lower number.

Pernia said there could be a "policy lag," wherein recent steps, such as reducing food import constraints, have yet to take effect fully.

Should these take hold in November, Pernia told ANC's Headstart, "I would think it would go down easily below 6.5 percent." He said such projection assumed no big changes in world oil prices.

"Inflation is something we don't fully control. There are many items covered by inflation... The price of rice hasn't really gone down yet, also fish," he said.

The government has suspended the second round of increase on fuel excise taxes, convinced manufacturers of basic goods to hold off on price hikes for 3 months and institutionalized several other price-taming measures directed at food.

A P25 increase in the daily minimum wage in Metro Manila, which was granted this week, will have "some effect" on price increases in the capital, he said.

Should the P2 jeepney fare hike push through, Pernia said it would result to a 0.4 percent increase in prices.