The inflation rate for the first month of 2018 likely remained the same with the rate in December last year, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
Still, the same 3.3 percent inflation rate was maintained from December 2017
In comparison with the 2.7 percent rate the same month in 2017, this year’s January inflation rate was estimated to be faster.
Presumably remaining at 3.3 percent, the stagnant inflation rate was due to the drop in prices of housing, utilities, and clothing counterbalancing the hike in transport rates, according to a DOF economic bulletin.
The time period also saw the beginning of the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, which imposed a cut on personal income taxes while providing additional taxes on petroleum products, automobiles, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Still, the DOF reported that price increases in food and non-food items likely stayed fixed as December last year’s rate at 3.5 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, on the other hand, hiked to 6.7 percent from 6.4 percent.
Food and non-alcoholic beverages, still, increased from 3.4 last year, while alcoholic beverages and tobacco rose from 5.6 percent.
Certain goods also reflected possible slowdowns in inflation, such as housing, utilities, and fuel inflation down to 3.5 percent from 3.8 percent. Yet, the current rate still showed an increase from last year’s 1.8 percent.
The presumed 3.3 percent inflation rate for January 2018 still falls between the target inflation rate of 2 to 4 percent kept by the Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee for the medium term in December.