The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said that the prices of essential goods rose even faster in July due to a sustained spike in transport costs.
The inflation rate stood at 2.7% for the month, up from June’s 2.5% and from 2.4% in July 2019. It is the fastest rise in prices since January and sustains a third straight month of price increases. Consumer prices rose by an average of 2.5% from January to July, and from 3.3% during the same period in 2019.
Transportation costs saw the most significant increase year-on-year, led by a nearly 34% surge in tricycle fares sustaining June’s trend. Tricycles are among the first public utility vehicles (PUVs) to operate in most areas but are limited to carry just one passenger per trip.
Domestic airfares also posted a 12.6% raise, while ferry boat rides cost 27.7% higher compared to July 2019.
Other items that saw higher price tags include cooking gas, home rentals, and running water, as well as expenses incurred for restaurant meals, barbershops, and personal care.
By location, prices rose faster in the provinces at 2.9 percent, against a 2.2% average in Metro Manila. It was highest in Bicol at 4.2 percent.
The country’s most impoverished families were hit harder by price adjustments, with inflation among the 30% lowest income-earning households settling at 2.9 percent. These families mostly spend what they have on the basics like food, utilities, and shelter.
Inflation will remain largely benign for the rest of 2020, and is expected to stay within the 2-4% desired range, according to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno.