Easing inflation offers respite for Guimaras’ low-income households

The inflation rate for the bottom 30% income households in Guimaras posted a noticeable decrease, offering a glimmer of relief amidst economic challenges.

According to the latest report released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on February 8, 2024, inflation slowed to 5.5% in January 2024 from 6.1% in the preceding month and down from 7.4% in January 2023.

This decline is attributed largely to the deceleration in food item prices, which rose by 6.8% compared to higher rates in the previous periods.

Nelida B. Losare, Provincial Statistics Officer, highlighted the factors contributing to this trend.

“The inflation trend for Food items, at 6.8%, was mainly due to the slower price movement of Meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals, which dropped from 13.0% inflation in December 2023 to 9.9% in January 2024, holding a 12.2% share. Conversely, Cereals and cereal products experienced a faster market value increase from 15.0% in December 2023 to 15.9% in January 2024, capturing the largest cut of 60.3% in the overall inflation of Food items for low-income households,” Losare explained.

The inflation slowdown benefits those at the lower end of the income spectrum, providing some economic relief.

“Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, with 6.5% inflation, emerged as the major sources of the inflation trend for the bottom 30% income households, with a 35.6% share, followed by Restaurants and Accommodation Services and Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas, and other Fuels,” Losare detailed, emphasizing the significant role food prices play in the overall inflation experience for low-income households.

Losare also noted the broader impact of these changes. “Aside from Cereals and cereal products, other food items contributing significantly to the 6.5% inflation rate on Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages were Meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals, with 9.9% inflation, contributing 7.8%, and Fish and other seafood, with 2.1% inflation, contributing 3.8%.”

The report reflects the importance of monitoring inflation rates specifically for the bottom 30% of income earners, who are most vulnerable to economic fluctuations.

“Inflation rates for the bottom 30% income households are computed to monitor their welfare, highlighting the need for continued vigilance and responsive measures to address the challenges faced by the most vulnerable sectors of our community,” Losare concluded.

This recent development signals a critical insight into the economic conditions affecting Guimaras’ lower-income families, providing a basis for future policy directions aimed at sustaining and improving the livelihoods of those most in need.

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