Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Eastern Visayas welcomed January 2021 with a 2.2 percent Inflation Rate (IR). This IR is 0.2 percentage point lower compared with the 2.4 percent IR in December 2020. This figure, however, is 0.2 percentage point higher than the recorded 2.0 percent IR in the same period last year.
The regional IR is 2.0 percentage points lower than the 4.2 percent national average inflation rate in January 2021.
Among the provinces, only Samar registered an increase in IR of 0.3 percentage point. It rose to 5.8 percent in January 2021 from 5.5 percent in December 2020. This is the highest IR among the provinces during the reference month. Leyte, meanwhile, retained its previous month’s IR at 1.9 percent.
Biliran registered the highest decrease of 0.8 percentage point, pushing its IR to zero in January 2021. Northern Samar, Southern Leyte, and Eastern Samar’s IRs registered decreases ranging from 0.1 percentage point to 0.7 percentage point, settling at 3.3 percent, 3.0 percent, and 1.4 percent, respectively, during the month in review.
Five (5) of the 11 commodity groups in the region exhibited lower IRs in January 2021 compared with their rates in December 2020. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco commodity group registered the biggest decrease of 1.9 percentage points, from 9.3 percent in December 2020 to 7.4 percent in January 2021. This decrease may be traced to slower IR in the index for tobacco, from double digit 12.4 percent in December 2020 to 9.1 percent in January 2021.
Prices for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group further deflated to 1.4 percent in January 2021 from 0.6 percent in December 2020, a continued drop by 0.8 percentage point. This can be attributed to the index for electricity, gas and other fuels which posted deflation of 4.9 percent in January 2021 from 2.8 percent deflation in December 2020.
Compared with their December 2020 levels, the IRs for clothing and footwear commodity group (2.5%) and health commodity group (1.1%) were lower by 0.2 percentage point and 0.1 percentage point, respectively, in January 2021.
The IR for food and non-alcoholic beverages commodity group eased by 0.1 percentage point, from 3.1 percent in December 2020 to 3.0 percent in January 2021. Double digit IRs were noted in vegetables and fruits indices at 15.9 percent and 12.0 percent, respectively. Prices of meat picked up by 3.1 percent in January 2021 from 1.4 percent in December 2020. Increased IRs were also registered in the indices for food products not elsewhere classified (6.9 percent); sugar, jam, honey, chocolate, and confectionary products (1.9 percent); and rice (0.6 percent). However, the 2.9 percent deflation in corn index, and the drop in the IR for fish index to 0.3 percent in January 2021 from 2.9 percent in December 2020, eased the impact of those increases to the overall IR of the commodity group.
On the other hand, IR for transport commodity group increased by 0.6 percentage point. The 5.0 percent IR in December 2020 rose to 5.6 percent in January 2021. The 3.0 percent deflation registered in the index for operation of personal transport equipment was offset by the higher IR (9.6%) posted in the index for transport services.
Restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services commodity group recorded 0.4 percentage points increase in its IR, from 3.8 percent in December 2020 to 4.2 percent in January 2021. This can be traced to higher IRs in the indices for catering services (6.3%) and personal care (2.6%). Communications commodity group and recreation and culture commodity group continued to post deflations but at a slower rate, settling at 1.5 percent and 1.3 percent during the month in review.
Meanwhile, the commodity groups of furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house and education retained their previous month’s IRs at 2.4 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region weakened to Php 0.77 in January 2021. This PPP implies that the goods and services worth PhP 77.00 in 2012 is worth PhP 100.00 in January 2021.
Compared to their levels in December 2020, PPP in Biliran, Leyte and Samar weakened by PhP 0.01 in January 2021. The rest of the provinces retained their previous month’s PPP. Biliran recorded the strongest PPP among provinces in January 2021 at PhP 0.81. Leyte and Southern Leyte ranked second both at PhP 0.79, followed by Eastern Samar at PhP 0.75 and Northern Samar at PhP 0.72. Samar posted the weakest PPP during the reference month at PhP 0.70.
SGD. WILMA A. PERANTE