January 6, 2023
MANILA – Inflation in the Philippines went up even higher at 8.1 percent in December 2022 from 8 percent in November, bringing the full-year average to 5.8 percent, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
National Statistician Dennis Mapa said in a press briefing the December readout was mainly driven by faster rate of increases in prices of vegetables especially cabbage, rice, and fruits like bananas.
Other big contributors to faster inflation were restaurants and accommodation services as well as housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels.
Inflation in December was the highest since November 2008, and was more than twice as high as the 3.1 percent recorded in December 2021.
It was slightly below the 8.2 percent median forecast in a Reuters poll, but within the central bank’s 7.8 percent to 8.6 percent forecast for December.
Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy components, rose to 6.9 percent in December from 6.5 percent in November.
Food inflation at the national level rose further to 10.6 percent in December from the prior month’s 10.3 percent.
The Philippine central bank has not ruled out further interest rate hikes in 2023, after raising the benchmark by a total of 350 basis points last year to curb inflation and support a weak peso.