January 15, 2019
TACLOBAN CITY – Eastern Visayas closed 2018 with a 4.4% Inflation Rate (IR). This IR is 0.8 percentage point lower compared with the 5.2% IR a month ago, but 1.1 percentage points higher than the recorded 3.3% IR in the same period last year. The regional inflation rate was 0.7 percentage point lower than the 5.1% national average in December 2018.
All provinces registered lower inflation rates in December 2018 compared with their figures in the previous month. Samar posted the highest decrease at 1.8 percentage points, from 7.4% in November 2018 to 5.6% in December 2018. The rest of the provinces registered decreases ranging from 0.2 to 1.6 percentage points. Eastern Samar recorded the highest IR at 7.6%, while Biliran posted the lowest at 1.7%.
Among the commodity groups, transport registered the highest decrease of 3.7 percentage points. It was posted at 3.0% in December 2018 from 6.7% in November 2018. This can be attributed to the huge decrease in the index of operation of personal transport equipment.
The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages eased down to 6.0% in December 2018 from its previous month’s rate of 7.4%, a decrease of 1.4 percentage points. This can be traced to slower price increases of majority of the food items. Rice index registered the highest decrease at 3.2 percentage points, from 8.4% in November 2018 to 5.2% in December 2018. Fish index continued to have a double digit inflation rate at 10.2%, despite shedding off 2.0 percentage points from its figure a month ago. It also posted the highest among all food items.
Inflation rate for alcoholic beverages and tobacco also went down by 0.2 percentage point but still recorded double digit IR at 20.4%, the highest among all commodities.
Meanwhile, health index increased to 3.7% during the reference month, 1.3 percentage points higher compared with the 2.4% IR in November 2018. This can be attributed to the increase in the index for hospital services.
The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region was recorded at P0.81 in December 2018, slightly stronger than the P0.80 PPP a month ago. This PPP implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in December 2018 only costs 81 pesos in 2012.
Biliran, Northern Samar and Samar registered a 0.01 centavo increase in PPP compared with their figures in November 2018, while the rest of the provinces had retained their previous month’s PPP. Leyte and Biliran recorded the strongest PPP at P0.83. Southern Leyte ranked second at P0.81, followed by Eastern Samar at P0.78. Northern Samar and Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.76.