Inflation rate within 2010 target—Neda

MANILA—Headline inflation rate in November remained stable, as price increases of food and clothing eased, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

“Although the rate of change in prices of major commodities inched up by 3.0 percent in November this year compared to the same month last year, we are well within our target of 3.5 to 5.5 percent,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga, Jr.

From January to November this year, the inflation rate registered 3.8 percent, which is within the 2010 target of 3.5 to 5.5 percent. October registered the lowest inflation rate in 2010 at 2.8 percent.

Moreover, compared to October this year, commodity groups under food, beverage and tobacco (FBT) and clothing registered slower annual price increases in November.

Under FBT, the annual price change dropped from two percent in October to 1.9 percent in November, while a decrease was also seen in prices of clothing from 1.9 percent in October to 1.7 percent in November.

But there were higher annual price increments in November under the fuel, light and water commodity group (12 percent) compared to October, which only recorded an 8.3 percent increase.

Within Metro Manila, the annual inflation rate was recorded at 3.6 percent last month, which is a big jump from the 2.2 percent in October. This increase was mainly due to the rise in electricity rates in November.

The Manila Electric Company raised its generation charges by 22.7 percent from P4.31 per kwh in October to P5.29 per kwh for November.

“According to the Meralco, the higher prices of electricity purchased in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market was the main cause of increased electricity bills in November 2010,” Paderanga said.

Price changes outside the National Capital Region slightly eased, with a 2.8 percent inflation rate in November compared to 2.9 in October.

Meanwhile, inflation rates in four Southeast Asian countries remains on target, with most of these countries maintaining their respective policy rates.

“The inflation rates in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines eased last October and continued to be within their respective targets. Despite the apparent steady inflation rates in the region, respective central banks remained vigilant in maintaining price stability,” Paderanga said.

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