Higher food an utility prices in the Philippines pushed up the country's inflation rate to 5.2 percent in October, according to the latest report released by the National Statistics Office (NSO).
The 2006-based inflation rate for October was higher than the 4. 8 percent recorded in September and 3.3 percent posted in the same period last year. After slowing from 5.1 percent in July to 4.7 percent in August, inflation has been on a steady increase in the past three months.
Further, using the 2000-based inflation data, the NSO said October 2011 inflation increased to 5.3 percent from August 2011's 4.6 percent. This is the highest inflation level recorded for 2000- based prices this year.
"This was due to higher annual increments in food and non- alcoholic beverages; alcoholic beverages and tobacco; and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels indices," the NSO said.
Despite this, both the 2006-based and 2000-based inflation levels from January to October this year has been kept within the government's 3 to 5 percent inflation target for the year. Under the 2006-based data, January to October inflation was at 4.8 percent while the 2000-based data showed inflation during the period was at 4.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the country's annual rate of increment in the heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index was faster at 5.7 percent in October from 5 percent in September; alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 6.2 percent from 6.1 percent; and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, 6.5 percent from 5.7 percent. On the other hand, the annual inflation for transport index decelerated to 6.7 percent from 7.1 percent.
The annual gain in the food index at the national level rose to 5.8 percent in October from 5.2 percent in September. This was largely due to a double-digit annual increase posted in the vegetables index at 19.9 percent in October from 10.7 percent in September and corn, 12.7 percent from 11.5 percent.