MANILA - Malacañang on Sunday credited slowing inflation for a drop in the number of Filipinos who said they were poor in a survey.
Fifty percent of 1,440 respondents in the December poll of the Social Weather Stations considered themselves as poor.
This was 2 points lower than the 52 percent who were self-rated poor in September 2018.
"Such improvements may be perceived to be in consonance with the December 2018 drop of inflation, registering at 5.1% -- the lowest since Junce 2018," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
The Palace is optimistic that "many Filipino families would continue to feel more comfort this year" amid continuing efforts to tame the prices of basic goods and commodities, he said.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has said it expects inflation for 2019 to decelerate below 4 percent, noted Panelo.
The Palace, however, acknowledges that "poverty among Filipinos is still high" and the government should sustain economic growth to create jobs and reduce prices, he said.
Economic managers are "vigorously pursuing" to reduce poverty and propel economic development to a degree at par with industrialized Asian neighbors, Panelo added.