Guimaras Island Witnesses Decline in Inflation in January 2024

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported a notable decrease in the headline inflation rate of Guimaras province for January 2024.

According to the latest data, inflation slowed to 4.6 percent in January from 5.5 percent in December 2023, and a significant drop from 8.0 percent in January 2023.

The decrease in inflation is attributed primarily to the slower price change in key sectors.

Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, which represent a substantial portion of the consumer basket, saw inflation ease to 6.0 percent. Restaurant and Accommodation Services, another major sector, recorded a 10.0 percent inflation rate.

Meanwhile, Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas, and Other Fuels experienced a minimal inflation rate of 0.9 percent. These sectors together contributed significantly to the overall inflation dynamics in Guimaras, with respective shares of 44.8 percent, 25.0 percent, and 12.6 percent.

Provincial Statistics Officer Nelida B. Losare highlighted the specific drivers behind the inflation trends.

The sluggish price change in food items, which decelerated from 7.3 percent in December 2023 to 6.3 percent in January 2024, played a crucial role in the slowdown of Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages inflation.

Furthermore, the decrease in prices of Food and Beverage Serving Services from 15.2 to 10.2 percent contributed to the reduced inflation in Restaurant and Accommodation Services.

The notable decrease in retail prices of Electricity, Gas, and Other Fuels from 4.8 to 3.3 percent was the main factor behind the low inflation rate in housing and utility costs.

Despite the overall positive trend, it is essential to recognize the varying impacts across different sectors.

While six of the 13 commodity groups surveyed by the PSA showed a downtrend in inflation from December 2023 to January 2024 (Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages; Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels; Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance; Transport; Restaurants and Accommodation Services; and Personal Care, and Miscellaneous Goods and Services), four groups exhibited an uptrend (Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco; Clothing and Footwear; Health; and Recreation, Sport, and Culture), and three maintained steady price indices (Information and Communication; Education Services; and Financial Services).

This mixed picture underscores the complex interplay of factors affecting the cost of living on the island.

The PSA report also sheds light on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Guimaras, which stood at 131.0 in January 2024. This figure indicates that Guimarasnon households needed 1,310 pesos to purchase a basket of goods and services that cost 1,000 pesos in 2018, marking a 0.6 percent increase from December 2023 and a 5.8 percent rise from January 2023.

The Purchasing Power of the Peso (PPP) in Guimaras also saw a slight depreciation, moving from 0.77 in December 2023 to 0.76 in January 2024.

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