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Albay’s February inflation drops to 2.5%

By Sally A. Altea

LEGAZPI CITY --- Overall inflation in the province of Albay further dipped to 2.5 percent in February 2024 from 8.5 percent in February 2023 and 3.3 percent in January 2024. This is the lowest recorded rate since last year.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Southern Luzon Area Manager Alvin Bermido said the recent inflation rate is lower than the 2.9 percent regional inflation. It is also within the first quarter’s 2.8 to 3.5 percent forecasted range.

“The forecast for the second quarter is tilted upward because of the threats and effects of El Niño. However, the government has initiated actions to mitigate and lower the upward trend,” he said during the press conference for the February inflation report.

Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Albay supervising statistical specialist Cross Doree Lee said the 2.5 inflation rate means that the price changes, although increasing, are at a slower pace.

“As for the implication to sellers and buyers or consumers, it is generally positive since the purchasing power of peso is not that affected so they still can buy the commodities they need,” she said.

The downtrend in the overall inflation in February 2024 was primarily brought by the faster decrease in prices of housing rentals, water, electricity, gasoline, and other fuels.

“These commodities recorded -5.6 percent inflation and 89 percent share to the overall downward inflation in the province. Prices in electricity greatly contributed to the downtrend at -49.3percent,” PSA Albay chief statistical specialist Cecille Brondial said.

A slower price increase is also noted for health, recreation and culture, personal care, and miscellaneous goods and services.

In contrast, a faster annual increase was observed in food and non-alcoholic beverages and transport indices.

“Food and non-alcoholic beverages greatly contributed to the inflation with 99.6 percent. These commodities include cereal products, ready-made food and other products, milk and other dairy products,” Brondial said.

Food inflation at the provincial level for the bottom 30% income household increased to 8.3 percent in February 2024 from 7.3 percent in the previous month.

It was influenced by the increase in prices of meat, vegetables and other ready-made food products.

Rice, corn, flour, and other bakery products are the highest contributors to food inflation.

“Price drop or negative inflation was recorded for fish and other seafood, oils and fats, sugar, confectionary and dessert,” Brondial said.

Among provinces, Albay has the second lowest inflation. Sorsogon has the lowest rate at 0.4 percent, Camarines Norte with 3.2 percent and Camarines Sur with 3.4 percent. The province of Catanduanes has the highest inflation at 4.6 percent followed by Masbate at 4.4 percent. (PIA5/Albay)


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