Palace, NEDA say inflation remains 'manageable'

Posted at 09/05/12 3:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The government believes that the 3.8% August inflation rate as reported by the NSO remains “manageable,” despite being at its highest in seven months. 

“It’s still within the expected range of 3 to 5% and it’s manageable. Certain factors attributed to that, you have the habagat that pervaded during the last month and so there was a rise in oil and food prices. Other than that, the year-to-date inflation rate is at 3.2% So we believe that the inflation rate is still manageable,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.  

The consumer price index in August rose 3.8% from a year earlier, the National Statistics Office said. This was above the markets' 3.5% forecast, and the highest since January when it hit 4%. 

NEDA deputy director-general for planning Dr. Emmanuel F. Esguerra said the heavy rains and floods brought by the southwest monsoon in August led to higher prices of food items, such as fish, vegetables and fruits. 

Higher electricity prices were also seen in August due to the 25% increase in the generation charge of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco). 

Prices of oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) also slightly increased in August.

"The January-to-August 2012 headline inflation rate of 3.2 percent is still within the government’s target range of 3.0% to 5.0%, as set in the Philippine Development Plan for 2011-2016. Inflation remains manageable but government will remain vigilant against any undesirable trends," Esguerra said. - With report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News