Inflation Rate in Eastern Visayas inches up to 2.9% in March 2021

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas inched up to 2.9 percent in March 2021. This IR is 0.1 percentage point higher compared with the 2.8 percent IR in February 2021. This figure is also 0.7 percentage point higher than the recorded 2.2 percent IR in the same period last year.
In comparison with the national average IR, the regional IR is 1.6 percentage points lower than the 4.5 percent national IR in March 2021.
Among the provinces, only Northern Samar registered a decrease in IR by 0.6 percentage point. Its IR declined to 2.2 percent in March 2021 from 2.8 percent in February 2021. Leyte, meanwhile, retained its previous month’s IR at 1.9 percent. Biliran registered the highest increase of 0.9 percentage point, pushing its IR to 3.6 percent in March 2021. Samar, Southern Leyte, and Eastern Samar’s IRs registered increases ranging from 0.3 percentage point to 0.4 percentage point, settling at 6.5 percent, 4.0 percent, and 3.3 percent, respectively, during the month in review. Samar recorded the highest IR among provinces at 6.5 percent, while Leyte posted the lowest at 1.9 percent.
Five (5) of the 11 commodity groups in the region exhibited higher IRs in March 2021 compared with their rates in February 2021. Transport commodity group registered the biggest increase in IR of 2.7 percentage points, from 6.2 percent in February 2021 to 8.9 percent in March 2021. This
acceleration can be traced to the double-digit IR (11.3%) registered in the index for operation of personal transport equipment.
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group recorded 1.4 percent IR in March 2021; 1.2 percentage points higher than the 0.2 percent IR in February 2021. This increase was brought about by the 4.2 percentage points growth in the index for electricity, gas, and other fuels,
from 0.7 percent deflation in February 2021 to 3.5 percent IR in March 2020.
The March 2021 IRs for alcoholic beverages and tobacco commodity group (7.0%) and clothing and footwear commodity group (2.6%) are both 0.1 percentage point higher compared with their February 2021 levels.
The commodity group for communication continued to post deflation but at a slower rate, settling at 1.4 percent during the month in review.
On the other hand, restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services commodity group recorded 0.5 percentage point decrease in its IR, from 3.9 percent in February 2021 to 3.4 percent in March 2021. This can be traced to the lower IR in the indices for catering services (5.2%), personal
care (2.1%), and personal effects not elsewhere classified (1.0%).
IR for food and non-alcoholic beverages commodity group declined to 3.2 percent in March 2021 from 3.5 percent in February 2021. Lower IRs were noted in majority of the items under this commodity group. Fruits index registered the highest decrease of 4.8 percentage points. Its IR dropped to 6.4 percent in March 2021 from its double-digit IR of 11.2 percent in February 2021. IR for vegetables index managed to shed off 1.5 percentage points from its double-digit figure of 19.6 percent in February 2021, posting 18.1 percent IR in March 2021. Corn, rice, and bread and cereals indices further deflated to 3.3 percent, 2.3 percent, and 1.4 percent, respectively. The rest of the items registered decreases ranging from 0.1 percentage point to 0.3 percentage point. Meanwhile, prices of meat picked up at a faster rate of 7.0 percent in March 2021 from 5.3 percent in February 2021.
IR for health commodity group eased by 0.3 percentage points, settling at 1.1 percent in March 2021.
The commodity groups of furnishings, household equipment, and routine maintenance of the house and education retained their previous month’s IRs at 2.5 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, recreation and culture commodity group retained its previous month’s deflation at
1.0 percent.
The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region weakened to Php 0.76 in March 2021. This PPP implies that the goods and services worth PhP 76.00 in 2012 is now worth PhP 100.00 in March 2021. Compared to their levels in February 2021, PPP in Northern Samar strengthened by PhP 0.01, while the rest of the provinces retained their previous month’s PPP. Biliran and Leyte recorded the strongest PPP among provinces in March 2021 at PhP 0.79. Southern Leyte ranked second at PhP 0.78, followed by Eastern Samar at PhP 0.74 and Northern Samar at PhP 0.72. Samar posted the weakest PPP during the reference month at PhP 0.70.
Regional Director