Eastern Visayas closed 2019 with a 1.5 percent Inflation Rate (IR). This IR is 0.9 percentage point higher compared with the 0.6 percent IR a month ago, but 2.9 percentage points lower than the recorded 4.4 percent IR in the same period last year.
The regional IR is 1.0 percentage point lower than the 2.5 percent national average inflation rate in December 2019.
All provinces in the region registered higher inflation rates in December 2019 compared with their figures in the previous month. Biliran recorded the highest increase of 2.2 percentage points, from 1.5 percent deflation in November 2019 to 0.7 percent IR in December 2019. The rest of the provinces registered increases ranging from 0.2 percentage point to 1.8 percentage points. Southern Leyte posted the lowest IR with 1.2 percent deflation. Leyte, meanwhile, recorded the highest IR during the month in review at 2.1 percent.
Four commodity groups in the region exhibited higher IRs in December 2019 compared with their rates in November 2019. Transport commodity group registered the biggest increase of 3.1 percentage points, from 1.0 percent in November 2019 to 4.1 percent in December 2019. This can be attributed to the significant increase in the index for operation of personal transport equipment to a double-digit inflation rate of 10.5 percent in December 2019 from 0.2 percent in November 2019.
The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages commodity group rebounded to 0.2 percent in December 2019 from 1.0 percent deflation in November 2019. Lower IRs noted in fruits; oils and fats; non-alcoholic beverages; meat; and sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery were offset by the higher annual price increases in vegetables; fish; food products not elsewhere classified; and milk, cheese and eggs. Vegetables index registered the highest increase of 2.8 percentage points, from 3.1 percent in November 2019 to 5.9 percent in December 2019. Rice and bread and cereals indices continued to register deflations but at slower rate of 6.2 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group rebounded by 0.2 percent in December 2019 from its 0.8 percent deflation in November 2019.
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco commodity group inched up by 0.1 percentage points pushing its inflation rate to 7.2 percent during the month in review.
On the other hand, inflation rate for health commodity group decreased by 1.3 percentage points, from 2.9 percent in November 2019 to 1.6 percent in December 2019. This can be attributed to the lower inflation rate on hospital services, from 3.5 percent in November 2019 to 0.6 percent in December 2019.