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NSO Reports on Consumer Price Index in Bicol Region - PIA

Legazpi City (18 June) -- Price situation year-on-year: The year-on-year inflation rate of Bicol region continued to move at a slower pace of 4.9 per cent in May 2009 from 6.1 per cent in April 2009 or a decline of 1.2 percentage points. Compared to the 8.9 per cent inflation rate in the same period last year, this month's inflation rate was way below by 4.0 percentage points.

The decline in the annual inflation rate of Bicol region was due primarily to the negative annual rate posted in fuel, light and water (-3.5 per cent from -2.9 per cent) due to the price rollback in LPG and kerosene.

The slower annual inflation rate for food, beverages and tobacco (5.8 per cent from 7.7 per cent), housing and repairs (4.2 per cent from 4.3 per cent), services (6.9 per cent from 7.8 per cent) and miscellaneous items (3.5 per cent from 3.6 per cent) also contributed to the downtrend in the all items index. On the other hand, annual rate of clothing index remained at its last month's rate (2.2 per cent).

Province-wise, all Bicol provinces recorded lower annual inflation rates in May 2009 as follows - Albay, 3.5 per cent from 4.3 per cent; Camarines Norte, 5.0 per cent from 6.3 per cent; Camarines Sur, 5.5 per cent from 6.1 per cent; Catanduanes, 8.9 per cent from 10.8 per cent; Masbate, 5.4 per cent from 7.2 per cent and Sorsogon, 3.8 per cent from 5.7 per cent.

Price situation: Month-on-month

On a monthly basis, consumer prices in Bicol region slightly increased by 0.1 per cent in May 2009 from -0.1 per cent in April 2009 or a Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 159.0 from 158.9.

Across commodity groups, month-on-month price movement of food, beverages and tobacco group was still negative but at a faster pace of -0.1 per cent from -0.3 per cent. Among its commodities, cereal and cereal preparations also posted a negative rate of 0.9 per cent in May 2009 from negative 1.0 per cent in April 2009 mainly due to the negative 1.4 per cent increment in rice index because of its sufficient supply in the market. Meanwhile, the price of corn in Bicol appeared stable as the corn index in the area recorded a zero growth from 1.2 per cent a month ago. Slower rates were noted in the indices of miscellaneous foods (0.3 per cent from 0.4 per cent), beverages (0.2 per cent from 0.3 per cent) and tobacco (0.2 per cent from 0.3 per cent).

However, higher prices were observed in dairy products (0.4 per cent from 0.1 per cent), eggs (0.4 per cent from -0.9 per cent), fish (0.9 per cent from 0.8 per cent) and fruits and vegetables (0.9 per cent from -1.9 per cent). Factors that contributed to the price hike of fruits and vegetables were the two typhoons that hit the country in early May which affected the major agricultural production areas in Luzon thereby triggering price mark ups particularly for vegetables and price hikes in off-season fruits were also observed in selected areas in the region. Meanwhile, the price of meat in the region appeared stable as the group's index in the area recorded a zero growth.

Under the non-food group, slower monthly price increases were posted in clothing items (0.1 per cent from 0.2 per cent), services (0.1 per cent from 0.5 per cent) and miscellaneous items (0.1 per cent from 0.2 per cent). Price gain in fuel, light and water items was however higher at 0.6 per cent from -0.5 per cent despite of reduction in the prices of LPG and kerosene during the month because of the higher electricity charges noted in Albay, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur. Meanwhile, a slight increase was registered in housing and repairs at 0.1 per cent in May 2009 from zero growth in April 2009. Overall, the regional non-food index increased 0.2 per cent from 0.1 per cent.

With such rate in the price change of commodities in the region, the Bicol region's purchasing power of the peso (PPP) in May 2009 remained at P0.63. Similarly, previous month's PPP was maintained in Albay (P0.61), Camarines Sur (0.66), Catanduanes (P0.58) and Sorsogon (P0.63). On the other hand, worth of peso in Camarines Norte declined by one centavo (P0.61 from P0.62) while it increased by one centavo in Masbate (P0.63 from P0.62).(NSO V/PIA)

Source: Philippine Information Agency

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