February inflation highest since Jan. 2019
February inflation climbed to 4.7 percent, highest since January 2019, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Friday.
The increase was driven by food and non-alcoholic beverage sector as inflation in meat, especially pork, went up to 20.1 percent from 17.1 percent.
Fish prices also rose, especially dilis, and rice, the PSA added.
January inflation was at 4.2 percent. Inflation in February 2020 stood at 2.6 percent.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said the February numbers were within its forecast of 4.3 percent to 5.1 percent.
''The Monetary Board will consider carefully recent price developments that could influence the outlook for inflation along with evidence of second round effects during the monetary policy meeting on 25 March 2021,'' said Diokno.
''The uptrend in the country’s inflation was mainly brought about by the uptick in the inflation of the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages at 6.7 percent during the month, from 6.1 percent in January 2021,'' the PSA said.
Contributing also to the uptrend were alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 12.2 percent; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, 0.9 percent; health, 2.9 percent; transport, 10.4 percent; communication, 0.3 percent; and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services, 3.2 percent.
Excluding selected food and energy items, core inflation inched up to 3.5 percent in February, from 3.4 percent in January.
At the national level, inflation for food picked up further to 7.0 percent in February, from 6.6 percent in the previous month.
''The meat index continued to move upward as its annual rate went up further to 20.7 percent during the month,'' PSA said.
Faster annual upticks were also noticed in the indices of fish at 5.1 percent; oils and fats, 3.3 percent; and food products not elsewhere classified, 4.6 percent.
The annual rate of the index of rice rose to 0.5 percent, from zero percent annual growth in the previous month. DMS