MAKATI CITYBased on the recent data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on 7 March 2023, the country’s national inflation rate was slightly lowered to 8.6 percent in February 2023 as compared to 8.7 percent recorded in January. However, the country recorded an 8.6 percent average inflation rate for the first two months of 2023. 

The main contributor to this downward trend is transportation, which fell from 11.1 percent inflation in January 2023 to 9.0 percent in February. At the national level, food inflation also went down to 11.1 percent in February 2023 from 11.2 percent in January. Relative to this, DTI Secretary Fred Pascual said that “We must intensify our campaign to lower the prices of basic necessities and prime commodities, especially agricultural products. We call on Local Price Coordinating Councils to work with us in price and supply monitoring and stabilization. We at DTI will continue to work on improving the country’s agri value chain and expanding access to affordable agri products in local markets. Lastly, we must address challenges to the supply of food products in the country that drive market prices up.” 

Lower food inflation was largely influenced by the lower year-on-year growth in the index of vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas, and pulses at 33.1 percent in February 2023.  Meanwhile, other commodity groups have shown higher inflation rates such as the following: (a) Food and non-alcoholic beverages (10.8 percent); (b) Alcoholic beverages and tobacco (11.0 percent); (c) Clothing and footwear (4.8 percent); (d) Furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance (6.2 percent); (e) Health (4.0 percent); (f) Information and communication (0.8% percent); (g) Recreation, sport and culture (4.4 percent); (h) Restaurants and accommodation services (8.1 percent); and (i) Personal care, and miscellaneous goods and services (5.3 percent). 

On the other hand, inflation rate at the National Capital Region (NCR) increased further from 8.6 percent in January 2023 to 8.7 percent in February. This was influenced by the rising prices of housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels commodity group within NCR. Meanwhile, for areas outside NCR, inflation rate has decreased to 8.5 percent from 8.7 percent in January. 

“We need a whole-of-government approach in managing inflation and pursuing food security and a more stable market prices for BNPCs. From our end, we will also intensify our price monitoring efforts, ensuring that Filipino consumers will not fall victims of unfair and unjust business practices. We will also continue meeting various organizations across sectors and industries to discuss the possibility of lowering the prices of products in the market. Nais naming siguruhin na may sapat na pagkain sa hapag ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino“, added Secretary Pascual. *

Date of release: 07 March 2023