The Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas eased to 2.0 percent in April 2019. This IR is 0.1 percentage point lower compared with the 2.1 percent IR a month ago, and 3.4 percentage points lower compared with the 5.4 percent IR recorded in the same period last year. The regional inflation rate is 1.0 percentage point lower than the 3.0 percent national average in April 2019.
The provinces of Biliran, Eastern Samar, Samar and Southern Leyte registered lower IRs in April 2019 compared with their figures in the previous month. Eastern Samar recorded the biggest drop of 1.9 percentage points, from 3.7 percent in March 2019 to 1.8 percent in April 2019. On the other hand, Leyte and Northern Samar, registered 0.3 percentage point increase each settling at 3.5 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively in April 2019. Biliran posted the lowest with negative IR at 2.0 percent. Leyte, meanwhile, recorded the highest IR during the month in review at 3.5 percent (Table 1).
Among the commodity groups, Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group registered the highest decrease of 1.6 percentage points, from 1.8 percent in March 2019 to 0.2 percent during the month in review.
The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages declined by 0.5 percentage point to 2.5 percent in April 2019 from its previous month’s rate of 3.0 percent. Higher inflation rates noted in vegetables; sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery products; oils and fats; milk, cheese and eggs; and non-alcoholic beverages were offset by the slower price increases in rice; bread and cereals; food products not elsewhere classified; fruits; fish; corn; and meat. Rice registered the biggest drop of 1.2 percentage points, from 1.4 percent in March 2019 to 0.2 percent in April 2019. Fruits index continued to register a negative inflation rate at 5.1 percent.
Slower IR was also exhibited in health at 3.5 percent registering a 0.1 percentage point decrease from its figure a month ago.
Meanwhile, transport IR increased to 5.5 percent during the reference month, 3.5 percentage points higher compared with the 2.0 percent IR in March 2019. This can be traced to higher IRs in the indices for transport services and operation of personal transport equipment.
IR for the commodity groups of alcoholic beverages and tobacco; and furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house increased by 0.7 percentage point each, settling at 4.1 percent and 5.9 percent, respectively, during the month in review.
Restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services increased to 2.3 percent in April 2019 from 2.0 percent last month. While clothing and footwear inched up to 2.9 percent during the month in review from 2.8 percent in March 2019.
The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.80 in April 2019. This PPP implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in April 2019 only cost 80 pesos in 2012.
Biliran and Eastern Samar registered a 0.01 centavo increase in their PPP compared with their figures in March 2019, while Leyte recorded a 0.01 centavo decrease. The rest of the provinces sustained their PPP last month. Biliran recorded the strongest PPP at P0.84. Southern Leyte ranked second at P0.82, followed by Leyte at P0.81 and Eastern Samar at P0.79. Northern Samar and Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.76.