July inflation zooms to 6.4%, highest in nearly 4 years

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Headline inflation went up to its highest in nearly four years in July due to faster increases in food and transport items.

Preliminary data from the agency showed consumer price index climbed by 6.4% year on year in July from 6.1% in June and 3.7% a year ago.

This was higher than the 6.2% median estimate in a BusinessWorld poll conducted last week. It also settled at the upper bound of the 5.6-6.4% forecast range of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for that month. It was also the fourth consecutive month that inflation went above the BSP’s 2-4% target range.

July’s inflation print was the fastest growth in 45 months, or since the 6.9% logged in October 2018.

Month on month, inflation picked up 0.8%. Stripping out seasonality factors, month-on-month inflation inched up 0.6% in July.

Inflation averaged 4.7% in the seven months to July, lower than the 4% seen in the same period a year ago. This was also lower than the central bank’s revised 5% inflation forecast.

Heavily weighted food and beverages accelerated to 6.9% year on year in July from 6% in June. Transport likewise rose to 18.1% from 17.1%.

Meanwhile, inflation as experienced by the poor households, under 2012-based prices, rose 5.9% in July, higher than the 5% in June and 4.4% last year. — MIUC

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