Guimaras inflation peaks at 9% in Feb 2023, highest in 13 months

Inflation rate, or the rise in prices of goods and services in Guimaras province, peaked at 9 percent in February 2023, the highest in 13 months since February 2022 and still the fastest inflation rate in the province for five years (since 2019).

This is based on the generated data of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the Retail Price Survey (RPS) of Commodities conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The fast-moving prices in food and non-alcoholic beverages pushed Guimaras’ inflation to 9 percent in February 2023 from 8 percent in January 2023. The figure was higher than the 3.8 percent inflation in February 2022. (See Table 1)

Food and Non-alcoholic Beverages are among the heavily-weighted commodity items, which accelerated to 11.5 percent from 9 percent in January 2023 and 3.5 percent in February 2022,” said Provincial Statistics Officer Nelida B. Losare.

The 41.1 percent shoot up in Vegetables, tubers, plantains, and cooking bananas, and a 4.3 percent price increase in rice pushed the Food and Non-alcoholic beverages to 11.5 percent.

“Other heavily-weighted commodity groups that buoyed up inflation were the 13.1 percent in Alcoholic beverages and tobacco and 7.8 percent in Furnishings, household equipment, and routine household maintenance,” Losare added. 

The 13.1 percent increase in Alcoholic beverages and tobacco was due to the faster annual price change of Spirits and liquors (15.9%); and Wine from other sources (26.1%).

Likewise, the 7.8 percent increase in Furnishings, household equipment, and routine household maintenance was due to Other non-durable household goods (3.2%); and Bed linen and beddings (1.0%).

Health also accelerated to –0.3 percent in February 2023 from –1.2 percent in January 2023, but slower than the 5.6 percent in February 2022.

The same inflation trend in Personal care, and miscellaneous goods and services was observed, with a recorded increment of 9.5 percent from 9 percent in January 2023 but faster than the 3.9 percent in February 2022.

Losare further highlighted that five commodity items showed slower inflation in February 2023 than the previous month’s rate, but not enough to hold back the speedy price increase of heavily weighted commodities.

“Clothing and footwear went down to 1.5 percent from 2 percent; Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels decreased to 6.5 percent from 6.7 percent; Transport contracted to 2.5 percent from 6.9 percent; Information and communication also went down to 0.3 from 0.6 percent; and Recreation, sport and culture which decreased to 16.3 percent from 16.6 percent in the previous month,” Losare elaborated.

Nevertheless, three commodities maintained their previous month’s inflation rates: Education services

(-0.3%), Restaurants and accommodation services at 16.7%, and Financial services at 0.0%.

The 9.0 inflation rate for all items in February 2023 was the highest in five years since its rebasing in 2018. (See table 2).

Losare also stated that the inflation rate in February 2023 implied that the average price changes of consumer goods and services moved a bit faster to 9.0 percent from 8.0 percent in January 2023.

 “A CPI of 125.1 means that an average Guimarasnon household needs 251 pesos more in February 2023 to buy a basket of goods worth 1000 pesos in 2018. The CPI is used to compute the inflation rate for a given period,” Losare added.

Meanwhile, Losare cited that the average Purchasing Power of the Peso (PPP) in February 2023 is at 0.80, which is lower when compared to the previous year’s 0.87, illustrating that the purchasing power of the peso depreciated, thereby interpreting that the one peso in 2018, is now valued at 0.80 centavos.

“The PPP for February was the same as the 0.80 in January 2023,” Losare said.