The Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas dropped to 2.1 percent in March 2019. This IR is 1.0 percentage point lower compared with the 3.1 percent IR a month ago, and 3.6 percentage points lower compared with the 5.7 percent IR recorded in the same period last year.
The regional inflation rate is 1.2 percentage points lower than the 3.3 percent national average in March 2019.
Eastern Visayas ranked second lowest among the regions. Zamboanga Peninsula registered the lowest inflation rate at 2.0 percent.
On the other hand, MIMAROPA posted the highest IR at 4.8 percent, followed by Davao Region at 4.2 percent. Northern Mindanao ranked third highest at 4.1 percent.
The provinces of Samar, Biliran, Eastern Samar and Leyte registered lower IRs in March 2019 compared with their figures in the previous month. Samar recorded the highest decrease of 1.5 percentage points, from 3.4 percent in February 2019 to 1.9 percent in March 2019.
On the other hand, increased IRs were noted in Southern Leyte and Northern Samar, settling at 2.1 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively in March 2019.
Among the provinces, Biliran posted the lowest with negative IR at 0.7 percent. Eastern Samar, meanwhile, recorded the highest IR during the month in review at 3.7 percent.
Five commodity groups in the region exhibited lower IR in March 2019 compared with their rates in February 2019. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco registered the highest decrease of 5.8 percentage points to 3.4 percent during the month in review from 9.2 percent in February 2019.
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels also went down by 1.8 percentage points, to 1.8 percent in March 2019 from 3.6 percent in February 2019. This can be traced to the deflation seen in the index for water supply and miscellaneous services relating to the dwelling, and slower IR in the index for electricity, gas and other fuels.
The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages declined by 1.0 percentage point to 3.0 percent in March 2019 from its previous month’s rate of 4.0 percent. This can be attributed to the slower price increases of majority of the food items. Fish registered the highest decrease of 1.7 percentage points, from 5.7 percent in February 2019 to 4.0 percent in March 2019. Fruits index continued to register a negative inflation rate at 4.7 percent. Non-alcoholic beverages, meanwhile, recorded a 2.7 percentage points decrease from its double digit IR last month, settling at 7.4 percent in March 2019.
Slower IRs were also exhibited in health (3.6 percent) and furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house (5.2 percent), registering 0.2 percentage point and 0.1 percentage point decreases from their figures a month ago, respectively.
On the other hand, transport increased to 2.0 percent during the reference month, 1.6 percentage points higher compared with the 0.4 percent IR in February 2019. This can be traced to higher IR in the index for operation of personal transport equipment.
IR for restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services inched up by 0.1 percentage point settling at 2.0 percent during the month in review.
Recreation and culture; clothing and footwear; communication; and education, meanwhile, retained their previous month’s rates of 3.5 percent, 2.8 percent, 0.4 percent and negative 16.4 percent, respectively.
PURCHASING POWER OF PESO
The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.80 in March 2019. This PPP implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in March 2019 only cost 80 pesos in 2012.
Biliran registered a 0.01 centavo increase in PPP compared with its figure in February 2019. The rest of the provinces sustained their PPP last month.
Biliran recorded the strongest PPP at P0.83. Leyte and Southern Leyte ranked second at P0.82, followed by Eastern Samar at P0.78. Northern Samar and Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.76.