The Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas continued to drop to 1.6 percent in May 2019. This is 0.4 percentage point lower compared with the 2.0 percent IR a month ago, and 4.2 percentage points lower compared with the 5.8 percent IR recorded in the same period last year. The regional inflation rate is 1.6 percentage points lower than the 3.2 percent national average in May 2019.
The provinces of Biliran, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar and Samar registered lower IRs in May 2019 compared with their figures in the previous month. Samar recorded the biggest drop of 1.5 percentage points, from 1.3 percent in April 2019 to -0.2 percent in May 2019. On the other hand, 0.3 percentage point and 0.2 percentage point increases in IRs were noted in Leyte and Southern Leyte, registering 3.8 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively in May 2019. Biliran posted the lowest with negative IR at 2.9 percent, while Leyte recorded the highest IR during the month in review at 3.8 percent (Table 1).
Among the commodity groups, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group registered the biggest drop of 1.3 percentage points, from 0.2 percent in April 2019 to -1.1 percent during the month in review.
The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages declined by 0.2 percentage point to 2.3 percent in May 2019 from its previous month’s rate of 2.5 percent. Higher inflation rates noted in fish; sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery products; corn; vegetables; oils and fats; and milk, cheese and eggs were offset by slower price increases in rice; non – alcoholic beverages; bread and cereals; fruits; meat; and food products not elsewhere classified. Rice registered the highest decrease of 1.5 percentage points, from 0.2 percent in April 2019 to -1.3 percent in May 2019. Fruits index continued to register a negative inflation rate at 5.7 percent.
Slower IRs were also exhibited in the commodity groups of alcoholic beverages and tobacco; clothing and footwear; furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; and communication.
On the other hand, transport IR increased to 5.9 percent during the reference month, 0.4 percentage point higher compared with the 5.5 percent IR in April 2019. This can be traced to higher IRs in the index for transport services.
IR for the commodity groups of health and recreation and culture increased by 0.1 percentage point each, both settling at 3.6 percent, during the month in review.
Restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services and education, meanwhile, retained their previous month’s rates of 2.3 percent, -16.4 percent, respectively.
The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.80 in May 2019. This PPP implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in May 2019 only cost 80 pesos in 2012.
All provinces retained their previous month’s PPP, except for Samar, which posted a 0.01 centavo increase in PPP. Biliran recorded the strongest PPP at P0.84. Southern Leyte ranked second at P0.82, followed by Leyte at P0.81, Eastern Samar at P0.79, and Samar at P0.77. Northern Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.76.