February sees an increase in inflation at 3.4%, marking the end of a 4-month decline

Inflation in the Philippines rose in February 2024, driven by an increase in the costs of food and non-alcoholic beverages. According to National Statistician and Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) chief Claire Dennis Mapa, inflation reached 3.4% in February, up from 2.8% in January.

The accelerated inflation was mainly attributed to a faster rise in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which climbed to 4.6% from the previous month’s 3.5%. The deceleration in the price drop of vegetables, tubers, cooking bananas, and others also contributed to the uptick in inflation.

Core inflation, however, slowed to 3.6% in February 2024, lower than the previous month’s 3.8% and significantly lower than February 2023’s 7.3%. Aside from food and non-alcoholic beverages, increases in transportation and housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuel products also contributed to the upward trend in inflation.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas had forecasted an inflation range of 2.8% to 3.6% for February. Food prices rose faster during the month, reaching 4.8%, but remained lower than the 11.1% recorded in February 2023. The index for meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals rose by 0.7% annually in February, while cereals and related products saw an increase of 17.0%.

Rice inflation remained high at 23.7%, slightly changing from the previous month. According to Mapa, this is the highest recorded since February 2009.

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