Eastern Visayas welcomed 2018 with a 4.5 percent Inflation Rate (IR). This January 2018 IR was 0.5 percentage point faster compared with its 4.0 percent IR a month ago and 1.7 percentage points faster than the recorded 2.8 percent IR in the same period last year.
The regional inflation rate was 0.5 percentage point faster than the 4.0 percent national average in January 2018.
Across regions, ARMM posted the highest inflation rate at 5.8 percent. It was followed by NCR and Bicol Region, which both recorded an inflation rate of 5.4 percent. On the other hand, Central Luzon registered the lowest inflation rate at 2.5 percent. Eastern Visayas ranked fifth among the regions with high inflation rates.
Three provinces in the region posted faster inflation rates in January 2018 compared with their figures in December 2017. Northern Samar posted the highest increase of 2.5 percentage points, from 4.8 percent in December 2017 to 7.3 percent in January 2018. Eastern Samar recorded a 2.4 percentage points increase settling at 4.7 percent during the reference month. Biliran registered an increase of 1.6 percentage points, posting an inflation rate of 4.1 percent in January 2018.
On the other hand, Southern Leyte and Leyte registered decreases of 1.1 percentage points and 0.2 percentage point from last month’s rates to .5 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively.
Samar, meanwhile, had sustained its inflation rate from December 2017 at 3.7 percent.
Among the provinces, Northern Samar registered the highest IR at 7.3 percent, while Southern Leyte posted the lowest IR at 1.5 percent.
Four major commodity groups in the region exhibited higher annual growths from December 2017 to January 2018. Transport recorded the highest uptick of 2.8 percentage points brought about by higher global crude oil prices which caused the prices of gasoline and diesel to shoot up during the period.
Similarly, the heavily weighted Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages went up by 1.0 percentage point, from 4.0 percent in December 2017 to 5.0 percent in January 2018. The weather disturbances that occurred during the month affected the supplies of fish and vegetables in the markets and pushed up their prices. Higher prices of meat, eggs, selected condiments and seasonings, and non-alcoholic beverages were also observed during the month.
Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco increased by 0.8 percent, from 6.6 percent in December 2017 to 7.4 percent in January 2018. This can be traced to the implementation of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law this month, which raised prices of cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.
Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance of the House index likewise recorded higher annual increases. Its inflation rate inched up by 0.2 percentage point, from 3.4 percent in December 2017 to 3.7 percent in January 2018.
On the other hand, annual price changes in Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels slowed down, from 4.7 percent in December 2017 to 3.0 percent in January 2018. Inflation rate for Health also eased down by 0.1 percentage point, settling at 5.0 percent during the month in review.
The rest of the commodity groups retained their previous month’s rates.
PURCHASING POWER OF PESO
The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region was recorded at P0.61 in January 2018. This is weaker compared with the P0.62 PPP registered in the previous month. This PPP implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in January 2018 only costs 61 pesos in 2006.
Northern Samar, Biliran and Eastern Samar registered decreases in PPP compared with their figures in December 2017. The rest of the provinces had sustained PPP.
Biliran recorded the strongest PPP at P0.65, followed by Northern Samar and Leyte at P0.62 and P0.61, respectively. Eastern Samar, Samar, and Southern Leyte, meanwhile, posted the weakest PPP at P0.60.
TABLE 1. Consumer Price Index, Inflation Rate and Purchasing Power of Peso by Region: December 2017 – January 2018
TABLE 3. Consumer Price Index and Inflation Rate for All Income Households by Commodity Sub-Group, Region VIII: December 2017 – January 2018