The Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas remained at 1.5 percent in July 2019. This figure is 4.4 percentage points lower compared with the 5.9 percent IR recorded in the same period last year. The regional inflation rate is 0.9 percentage point lower than the 2.4 percent national average in July 2019.
The provinces of Biliran, Southern Leyte and Samar registered lower IRs in July 2019 compared with their figures in the previous month. Biliran recorded the biggest drop of 2.1 percentage points, from 0.2 percent in June 2019 to -1.9 percent in July 2019. On the other hand, Leyte registered a 0.5 percentage point increase in IR, from 3.2 percent in June 2019 to 3.7 percent during the reference month. Eastern Samar inched up by 0.1 percentage point, from 1.0 percent a month ago to 1.1 percent in July 2019. Northern Samar, meanwhile registered zero inflation rate during the month in review. Among the provinces, Biliran posted the lowest with negative IR at 1.9 percent. Leyte, meanwhile, recorded the highest IR during the month in review at 3.7 percent (Table 1).
Majority of the commodity groups in the region exhibited higher IR in July 2019 compared with their rates in June 2019. These were however offset by the decreases recorded in housing, water, gas, electricity and other fuels; food and non-alcoholic beverages; and transport commodity groups.
Housing, water, gas, electricity and other fuels commodity group registered the biggest drop of 2.4 percentage points, from 1.1 percent in June 2019 to -1.3 percent during the month in review. This can be attributed to the huge decrease in the index for electricity, gas and other fuels.
The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages declined to 0.7 percent in July 2019 from its previous month’s rate of 1.5 percent, a drop of 0.8 percentage point. Lower IRs were noted in majority of the items. Fish and vegetables registered the highest decrease of 2.1 percentage points pushing their IRs to 0.6 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively. Fruits and rice indices continued to register negative IRs at 5.0 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
Transport commodity group eased down to 3.3 percent during the reference month from 3.7 percent in June 2019.
On the other hand, education commodity group increased to 5.3 percent during the month in review, 21.7 percentage points higher compared with the -16.4 percent IR in June 2019. This can be traced to higher IRs in the indices in all levels of education: pre-primary and primary education; secondary education; and tertiary education.
IR for alcoholic beverages and tobacco commodity group went up to 5.0 percent in July 2019 from 4.1 percent in June 2019.
IR for restaurants and miscellaneous good and services commodity group also increased by 0.8 percentage point, pushing its IR to 4.0 percent during the month in review.
Increased IRs were also noted in the commodity groups of furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; recreation and culture; clothing and footwear; and communication, with IRs posted at 6.7 percent, 4.5 percent, 3.4 percent, and 1.3 percent, respectively.
The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.80 in July 2019. This PPP implies that P100.00 in 2012 (base year) is worth P80.00 only in July 2019.
Biliran posted a P0.03 increase in PPP compared with its figure in June 2019, while Northern Samar and Samar’s PPP strengthened by P0.01. 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 P0.77.