Annual inflation rate in the Bicol Region continued its uptrend in February gaining 0.3 percentage point over the January 2013 level. The year-on-year change came in at 3.4 percent, posting a five-month high in February primarily due to the double-digit spike in the prices of so-called sin products. The latest figure is the highest since September last year when inflation stood at 3.5 percent.
Compared to the same period last year, the February level is 0.6 percentage point higher and sits at par with the national average. Across regions, Region I (Ilocos Region) registered the lowest at 1.8 percent while Region VII (Central Visayas) recorded the highest at 7.4 percent. Average inflation for the first two months of the year was placed at 3.3 percent.
Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco still posted the biggest increase in inflation, with higher excise tax rates taking effect, as it surged by 11.3 percentage points. The rest of the commodity groups except for Transport commodity group which dipped by 0.2 percentage point, had varying increases ranging from 0.1 to 0.4 percentage point.
Most of the food items included in the region’s market basket posted higher inflation rates, enough to push the overall inflation level of the Food group by 0.2 percentage point. Food and Non-alcoholic Beverages commodity group accounts for about half of the consumer basket of goods and services in the region. Clothing and Footwear and Education sustained their previous month’s level.
Slower increases were observed in the prices of consumer goods as reflected in the monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 135.2, up by only 0.4 point from last month’s index. Majority of the commodity groups posted increases, led by Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (13.8 points), while the rest varied from 0.1 to 0.5 point. Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, Clothing and Footwear, Communication and Education remained unchanged from the January index.
On a month-on-month basis, average inflation rate in the Bicol Region managed to decline by 0.7 percentage point. Decline in inflation rates of most of the commodity groups were observed, resulting to the current level of inflation.
The purchasing power of the peso in Bicol Region stayed at 74 centavos in February 2013 from P1.00 in 2006. (Source: National Statistics Office)