August 10, 2018
TACLOBAN CITY – The annual Inflation Rate (IR) of Eastern Visayas declined to 5.9% in July after posting the record-high 6.3% in June. This IR was 0.4 percentage point lower compared with the 6.3% IR a month ago, but 2.7 percentage points higher than the recorded 3.2% IR in the same period last year. The regional inflation rate was 0.2 percentage point higher than the 5.7% national average in July.
Four provinces in the region – Biliran, Leyte, Northern Samar, and Samar, posted lower inflation rates in July with 0.5 percentage point, 0.4 percentage point, 1.0 percentage point, and 0.1 percentage point decreases, respectively, compared with their figures in the previous month. On the other hand, increases were noted in Eastern Samar (0.3 percentage point) and Southern Leyte (0.1 percentage point). Eastern Samar registered the highest IR at 7.8%, while Southern Leyte posted the lowest IR at 1.5% (Table 1).
By major commodity groups, Education recorded the highest decrease of a hefty 19.7 percentage points, from 3.5% in June to -16.2 percent in July. It posted the lowest and the only commodity with negative inflation among all commodity groups. This may be attributed to the implementation of the free tuition law among State Universities and Colleges.
Annual price changes in Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco slowed down by 0.4 percentage point from its previous month’s rate, but still recorded a double digit inflation rate of 21.6%, the highest among all commodities.
The heavily weighted Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages went up by 0.3 percentage point, from 7.9% in June to 8.2% during the reference month. This can be attributed to faster price increases in rice, corn, fish, vegetables, and sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery products. Fish remained to have a double digit inflation at 18.5%, the highest among all food items. Communication, meanwhile, recorded zero inflation rate in July.
The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P 0.81 in July 2018. This PPP implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in July 2018 only costs 81 pesos in 2012.
All provinces sustained their PPP from last month, except Northern Samar, the only province that registered a 0.01 centavo increase in the PPP with its figure a month ago. Leyte recorded the strongest PPP at P0.84. Southern Leyte ranked second at P0.83, followed by Biliran at P0.82, Eastern Samar at P0.79, and Northern Samar at P0.77. Samar, meanwhile, posted the weakest PPP at P0.76 (Table 1).