The country’s inflation rate remained at 4.5 percent in April as prices of some food items were lower, which offset the increase in the price of pork products, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported on Wednesday.
The average price increase of basic goods and services for the first four months of 2021 was also at 4.5 percent.
In a virtual press briefing, PSA Undersecretary and national statistician Dennis Mapa said the decline in prices of rice, fruits, vegetables, and corn resulted in lower food inflation last month.
“I don’t know whether this is due to additional supply, low demand, impact of community pantries but we saw the decline in prices in sample outlets,” he said partly in Filipino.
However, Mapa cited higher pork inflation amid the lifting of an Executive Order imposing a price ceiling on pork and chicken in Manila Manila, while inflation of chicken and beef in the meat basket also increased.
He said pork inflation in the country reached 57.7 percent last month, National Capital Region (NCR) at 68.5 percent, and areas outside of the NCR at 55.5 percent.
“We performed some analysis on the trend, continuous increase is expected in meat inflation. So in the next few months, unless there are interventions, we see that this would continue to go up,” he added.
Mapa said food and non-alcoholic beverages mainly contributed to overall April inflation with price increase of 4.8 percent and 40.9-percent share in the overall inflation.
Meat, particularly pork, had the biggest share of the food and non-alcoholic beverages inflation at 22.1 percent, and fish at 6 percent, he said.
He added transport with 17.9-percent inflation had a 32.1-percent share in overall inflation, with tricycle fare, petroleum and fuels, and jeepney fare as the biggest contributors.
Mapa said six of 11 commodity groups posted faster increases in prices last month. These include housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels; furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; health; transport; communication; restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services.
He noted an increase in costs of medicine, laboratory services, and specialized medical services.
Mapa said the inflation in the NCR remained at 3.7 percent, while those in areas outside of the NCR were still at 4.7 percent.