April 17, 2019
TACLOBAN CITY – The Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas continued to drop to 2.1 percent in March 2019. This IR is 1.0 percentage point lower compared with the 3.1 percent IR a month ago, and 3.6 percentage points lower compared with the 5.7 percent IR recorded in the same period last year. The regional inflation rate is 1.2 percentage points lower than the 3.3 percent national average in March 2019.
The provinces of Samar, Biliran, Eastern Samar and Leyte registered lower inflation rates in March 2019 compared with their figures in the previous month. Samar recorded the highest decrease of 1.5 percentage points, from 3.4 percent in February 2019 to 1.9 percent in March 2019. Meanwhile, increased IRs were noted in Southern Leyte and Northern Samar, settling at 2.1 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively in March 2019. Biliran posted the lowest with negative IR at 0.7 percent, while Eastern Samar recorded the highest IR during the month in review at 3.7 percent (Table 1).
Among the commodity groups, alcoholic beverages and tobacco registered the highest decrease of 5.8 percentage points, from 9.2 percent in February 2019 to 3.4 percent during the month in review.
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group also went down by 1.8 percentage points, from 3.6 percent in February 2019 to 1.8 percent in March 2019. This can be traced to the deflation seen in the index for water supply and miscellaneous services relating to the dwelling, and slower IR in the index for electricity, gas and other fuels.
The heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages declined to 3.0 percent in March 2019 from its previous month’s rate of 4.0 percent, a decrease of 1.0 percentage point. This can be attributed to the slower price increases of majority of the food items. Fish registered the highest decrease of 1.7 percentage points, from 5.7 percent in February 2019 to 4.0 percent in March 2019. Fruits index continued to register a negative inflation rate at 4.7 percent. Non-alcoholic beverages, meanwhile, recorded a 2.7 percentage points decrease from its double digit IR last month, settling at 7.4 percent in March 2019.
Meanwhile, transport increased to 2.0 percent during the reference month, 1.6 percentage points higher compared with the 0.4 percent IR in February 2019. This can be traced to higher IR in the index for operation of personal transport equipment.
IR for restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services commodity group inched up by0.1 percentage point settling at 2.0 percent during the month in review.
The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region remained at P0.80 in March2019. This PPP implies that goods and services worth 100 pesos in March 2019 only cost 80 pesos in 2012.
Biliran registered a 0.01 centavo increase in PPP compared with its figure in February 2019. The rest of the provinces sustained their PPP last month. Biliran recorded the strongest PPP at P0.83. Leyte and Southern Leyte ranked second at P0.82, followed by Eastern Samar at P0.78. Northern Samar and Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.76.