February 11, 2019
TACLOBAN CITY – Eastern Visayas welcomed 2019 with a 4.0% Inflation Rate (IR). This IR is 0.4 percentage point lower compared with the 4.4% IR a month ago, and equal to the IR recorded in the same period last year. The regional inflation rate was 0.4 percentage point lower than the 4.4% national average in January 2019. Among other regions, Eastern Visayas ranked fourth from the bottom.
Four provinces in the region registered lower inflation rates in January 2019 compared with their figures in the previous month. Eastern Samar and Northern Samar posted the highest decrease of 2.2 percentage points each. Southern Leyte recorded a 0.7 percentage point decrease, while Biliran registered a decrease of 0.3 percentage point from their figures a month ago. On the other hand, increases in IR were noted in Samar (0.7 percentage point) and Leyte (0.4 percentage point). Samar recorded the highest IR at 6.3%, while Biliran posted the lowest at 1.4% (Table 1).
Among the commodity groups, alcoholic beverages and tobacco registered the highest decrease of 3.0 percentage points. It still, however, posted a double digit inflation rate and the highest among all items at 17.4% in January 2019 from 20.4% in December 2018. The decrease in IR can be attributed to the huge decrease in the index of alcoholic beverages.
The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages eased down to 5.3% in January 2019 from its previous month’s rate of 6.0%, a decrease of 0.7 percentage point. This can be traced to slower price increases of majority of the food items. Fruits index registered a negative inflation rate at 1.3%, from 2.1 percent in December 2018.
Inflation rate for transport also went down by 0.5 percentage point, from 3.0% in December 2018 to 2.5% in January 2019. This can be traced to the slower IR seen in the index for operation of personal transport equipment.
Meanwhile, furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house increased to 4.5% during the reference month, 0.5 percentage point higher compared with the 4.0% IR in December 2018. Increases were observed in the indices for goods and services for routine household maintenance; and furniture and furnishings, carpets and other floor coverings.
Health index also recorded a slight increase at 3.9% in January 2019 from 3.7% a month ago. IRs for housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels; clothing and footwear; and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services inched up by 0.1 percentage point each settling at 3.9%, 2.2% and 1.6%, respectively during the month in review.
The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region was recorded at P0.80 in January 2019, slightly weaker than the P0.81 PPP a month ago. This PPP implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in January 2019 costs 80 pesos only in 2012.
Biliran and Eastern Samar registered a 0.01 centavo decrease each in PPP compared with their figures in December 2018, while Southern Leyte recorded a 0.01 centavo increase from its PPP a month ago. The rest of the provinces sustained their PPP last month. Leyte recorded the strongest PPP at P0.83. Biliran and Southern Leyte ranked second at P0.82, followed by Eastern Samar at P0.77. Northern Samar and Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.76.