SEPTEMBER inflation in the National Capital Region (NCR) was at a four-month high, driven by transport as fuel prices continued to rise, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
Preliminary data indicated that September inflation accelerated to 6.1%, the highest since the 6.5% reading in May, the PSA said.
In August, inflation was 5.9%, while the September 2022 reading was 6.5%.
NCR inflation is in line with the national inflation reading of 6.1%.
NCR inflation in September was higher than the 5.4% median estimate in a BusinessWorld poll. It also came in at the high end of the forecast given by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) of 5.3%-6.1%.
Year to date, NCR inflation averaged 6.8%, exceeding the national average of 6.6%.
“The rise in overall inflation of the nation’s capital is due to the increase in prices of diesel, gas, electricity, and fuel costs,” the PSA said on Monday at a regional inflation conference.
Claire Dennis S. Mapa, National Statistician and Civil Registrar General, said the national reading for September inflation was also driven by the heavily weighted food and nonalcoholic beverages indices which increased to 9.7% from 8.1% last month.
In September, oil price increases hit 11 consecutive weeks, ending the period with gasoline at P11.60 per liter, kerosene at P15.74, and diesel P16.90.
Rice inflation surged to 10.6% in September from 7.5% in August. The price index has the biggest weighting in the overall CPI basket at 8.87%.
Mr. Mapa blamed rice inflation on noncompliance by many retailers with the price cap of P41 on regular-milled rice and P45 for well-milled rice.
September inflation as felt by NCR households in the bottom 30% income brackets was 7.3%, up from 7.2% a month earlier and 6.7% a year earlier.
In the first nine months, inflation for the bottom 30% income bracket was 7.9%, according to data released in the regional inflation conference.
Mr. Mapa said the PSA is planning further regional inflation conferences in the coming months to inform more people of the current economic situation. — Andrea C. Abestano