Eastern Visayas met 2020 with a 2.0 percent Inflation Rate (IR). This IR is 0.5 percentage point higher compared with the 1.5 percent IR in December 2019, but 2.0 percentage points lower than the recorded 4.0 percent IR in the same period last year.
The regional IR is 0.9 percentage point lower than the 2.9 percent national average inflation rate in January 2020.
Eastern Visayas ranked second among the regions with low IR during the month in review and sits at par with Cagayan Valley Region. BARMM registered the lowest inflation rate at 1.0 percent.
On the other hand, Bicol Region posted the highest IR at 3.9 percent, followed by CALABARZON, Central Luzon and Zamboanga Peninsula at 3.5 percent.
All provinces in the region registered higher inflation rates in January 2020 compared with their figures in December 2019, except for Leyte, which had retained its previous month’s inflation rate at 2.1 percent. Northern Samar recorded the highest increase of 1.4 percentage points, from 0.8 percent IR in December 2019 to 2.2 percent IR in January 2020. The rest of the provinces registered increases ranging from 0.2 percentage point to 1.2 percentage points.
Southern Leyte posted the lowest IR at 1.0 percent. Eastern Samar and Northern Samar, meanwhile, recorded the highest IR during the month in review at 2.2 percent.
Majority of the commodity groups in the region exhibited higher IRs in January 2020 compared with their rates in December 2019. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco commodity group registered the biggest increase of 1.6 percentage points, from 7.2 percent in December 2019 to 8.8 percent in January 2020. This can be attributed to the significant increase in the index for tobacco to a double-digit inflation rate of 11.2 percent in January 2020 from 8.9 percent in December 2019.
The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages commodity group increased to 1.1 percent in January 2020 from 0.2 percent IR in December 2019. Higher IRs were noted in majority of the all food items. Fish index registered the highest increase of 2.5 percentage points, from 6.5 percent in December 2019 to 9.0 percent in January 2020. Rice and bread and cereals indices continued to register deflations but at slower rate of 5.2 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.
IR for Transport commodity group increased by 0.7 percentage point, from 4.1 percent in December 2019 to 4.8 percent in January 2020. This can be attributed to faster annual price hike in the index for operation of personal transport equipment, from 10.5 percent in December 2019 to 14.6 percent in January 2020.
The commodity groups of clothing and footwear, and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels registered 0.2 percentage point increase in their IRs, posting IRs at 3.2 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively, during the reference month.
Restaurants and miscellaneous goods and service commodity group inched up by 0.1 percentage point pushing its IR to 5.0 percent in January 2020.
On the other hand, inflation rate for furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house commodity group decreased by 0.4 percentage point, from 5.7 percent in December 2019 to 5.3 percent in January 2020. This can be attributed to the lower inflation rate on goods and services for routine household maintenance, from 6.7 percent in December 2019 to 6.1 percent during the month in review.
Meanwhile, education; health; recreation and culture; and communication commodity groups retained their previous month’s inflation rates at 5.3 percent, 1.6 percent, 1.4 percent, and 1.2 percent, respectively.
PURCHASING POWER OF PESO
The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region was recorded at P0.79 in January 2020. This PPP implies that the goods and services worth P79.00 in 2012 is worth P100.00 in January 2020.
The PPPs in all provinces in the region weakened by P0.01 in January 2020 compared with their figures in December 2019, except for Eastern Samar, which had sustained its PPP at P0.76.