April 21, 2020
TACLOBAN CITY – Inflation Rate (IR) in Eastern Visayas rose to 2.2 percent in March 2020. This IR is 0.3 percentage point higher compared with the 1.9 percent IR in February 2020. This is also higher by 0.1 percentage point than the recorded 2.1 percent IR in the same period last year.
The regional IR is 0.3 percentage point lower than the 2.5 percent national average inflation rate in March 2020.
Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte, Biliran and Leyte registered higher inflation rates in March 2020 compared with their figures in February 2020. Eastern Samar recorded the highest increase of 0.8 percentage point. It rose to 3.1 percent IR in March 2020 from 2.3 percent IR in February 2020. On the other hand, Samar registered a 0.8 percentage point decrease in IR. It dropped to 2.3 percent in March 2020 from 3.1 percent in February 2020. Northern Samar eased down to 3.5 percent in March 2020 from 3.6 percent in February 2020 but still recorded the highest IR among the provinces in the region. Southern Leyte, meanwhile, posted the lowest IR among the provinces during the month in review at 1.4 percent.
Majority of the commodity groups in the region exhibited higher IRs in March 2020 compared with their rates in February 2020. Housing, water, gas, electricity and other fuels commodity group registered the biggest increase of 1.0 percentage point, from 0.9 percent deflation in February 2020 to 0.1 percent inflation in March 2020. This increase can be attributed to the inflation recorded in the actual rentals for housing index (7.5 percent); maintenance and repair of the dwelling index (2.6 percent); and water supply and miscellaneous services relating to the dwelling index (0.1 percent) in March 2020. The double-digit deflation rate of 11.0 percent in electricity, gas and other fuels, however, eased the impact of those increases to the overall IR of the commodity group.
The IR of the commodity group of alcoholic beverages and tobacco increased by 0.6 percentage point, pushing its IR to 9.1 percent in March 2020.
Restaurants and miscellaneous goods and services commodity group, and health commodity group both registered 0.4 percentage point increases in their IRs, posted at 5.4 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively, during the reference month.
The IR of heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages commodity group increased to 1.8 percent in March 2020 from 1.6 percent in February 2020. Higher IRs were noted in majority of the food items. Fruits index registered the highest increase of 1.1 percentage points, from 5.9 percent in February 2020 to 7.0 percent in March 2020. Fish index continued to register a double-digit IR during the reference month at 12.4 percent, the highest among all items. These increases were slowed down by the continued deflation in rice and bread and cereals indices, at 5.1 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.
IRs for clothing and footwear commodity group and communication commodity group inched up by 0.1 percentage point, registering 2.9 percent and 1.3 percent IRs in March 2020, respectively.
On the other hand, IR for transport commodity group declined by 4.0 percentage points. It went down to 0.9 percent in March 2020 from 4.9 percent in February 2020. This can be attributed to the 5.0 percent deflation recorded in the index for operation of personal transport equipment.
The commodity group of furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house eased down to 4.3 percent in March 2020 from 4.5 percent in February 2020.
The Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) of the region was recorded at P0.79 in March 2020. This PPP implies that the goods and services worth P79.00 in 2012 is worth P100.00 in March 2020.
All provinces in the region sustained their PPP last month. Biliran, Leyte and Southern Leyte recorded the strongest PPP at P0.81, followed by Eastern Samar at P0.76 and Samar at P0.74. Northern Samar posted the weakest PPP at P0.73.