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.
Eastern Visayas’ IR ranked second lowest among the regions in March 2021. Central Visayas registered the lowest IR in the said month at 1.5 percent.
On the other hand, Bicol posted the highest IR at 8.0 percent, followed by Cagayan Valley at 7.3 percent. MIMAROPA ranked third highest with 5.7 percent 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.
The current CPI series is 2012-based. The five steps involved in the rebasing/computing of the CPI are as follows: (1) identification of the base year (2) determination of the market basket (3) determination of household consumption patterns (4) monitoring of prices of items in the basket and (5) computation of the CPI using chain method.
The 2012 FIES expenditure data were used to directly estimate the 2012 CPI weights at the national and regional levels. However, the 2012 FIES estimates for the expenditure data at the provincial level were not directly utilized in estimating the CPI expenditure weights as the data at the provincial/city level may not be reliable with the use of the households' master sample (MS) that was utilized in selecting the 2012 FIES sample households. The MS was drawn using regions as domains in generating estimates in all the household surveys of the PSA starting July 2003. The provincial/city expenditure data were derived using the model-based method in small area estimation procedures using the regional expenditure data as the control total for all the expenditure data within the specific region. Using these estimates, the weight for each item of expenditure is computed as a proportion of that item of expenditure to the total national expenditure. A raking procedure was done to adjust the weights of the provinces so that the provincial weights when added up will equal to the regional weights.
BASE YEAR - is a period at which the index number is set to 100. It is the reference point of the index number series.
CONSUMER PRICE INDEX (CPI) - is an indicator of the change in the average prices of a fixed basket of goods and services commonly purchased by households relative to a base year.
DEFLATION - is the decline in prices for goods and services that happens when the inflation rate dips below 0%.
INFLATION RATE (IR) - is the annual rate of change or the year-on-year changes in CPI. It indicates how fast or how slow price changes over two time periods (year-on-year). Contrary to common knowledge, low inflation does not necessarily connote that prices of commodities are falling. It means that prices continue to increase but at a slower rate.
MARKET BASKET - refers to a sample of goods and services, which is meant to represent the totality of all the goods and services purchased by households relative to a base year.
MONITORING OF PRICES - involves establishing baseline information for the prices of the items in the base year and monitoring the prices of the items on a regular basis. Data collection for the CPI is done by the provincial office twice a month, except for petroleum products which are  monitored on a weekly basis, every Friday. First collection phase is done during the first five days of the month while the second phase is on the 15th to 17th day of the month.
PURCHASING POWER OF PESO (PPP) - gives an indication of the real value of peso (how much it is worth) in a given period relative to its value in the base period. It is computed as the reciprocal of CPI multiplied by 100.
RETAIL PRICE - refers to the actual price at which retailers sell a commodity on spot or earliest delivery, usually in small quantities for consumption and not for resale. It is confined to transactions on cash basis in the free market and excludes black-market prices and prices of commodities that are on sale as in summer sales, anniversary sales, Christmas sales, etc.
WEIGHTS - is a value attached to a commodity or group of commodities to indicate the relative importance of that commodity or group of commodities in the market basket. The weights for the 2012-based CPI were derived from the expenditure data of the 2018 Family Income and Expenditure Survey.
Regional Director