Inflation for low-income households in Guimaras hits 8.8%

The inflation rate for the bottom 30% income households (HHs) in Guimaras surged to 8.8% in May 2024, the highest increase in a year, according to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

“Inflation for the bottom 30% income HHs recorded a provincial average of 7.7% from January to April 2024,” stated Provincial Statistics Officer Nelida B. Losare.

The rise in inflation for low-income households in May was largely driven by the heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages category, which saw an increase to 12.7% from 12.2% in April 2024.

“Restaurant and Accommodation Services with 5.1% from 2.9% in March 2024, and Transport with 2.8% from 1.8% also showed a significant share to bottom 30% income HHs’ inflation in May 2024,” Losare explained.

Losare highlighted that the price increase in food and non-alcoholic beverages was mainly pushed by fast-rising prices of fish and other seafood, which jumped to 4.1% from 1.0% in April 2024. The inflation rate for Restaurant and Accommodation Services rose due to the increasing price index of restaurants, cafes, and similar establishments, reaching 5.1% from 2.9% in April 2024. Transport inflation was notably driven by a dramatic rise in passenger transport by sea and inland waterway, which skyrocketed to 96.8% from a 32.3% inflation rate.

In contrast, several commodity groups registered slower inflation rates in May: Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco dropped to 3.7% from 9.9%; Clothing and Footwear decreased slightly to 3.5% from 3.6%; Furnishings, Household Equipment and Routine Household Maintenance fell to 3.5% from 3.6%; Health declined to 0.7% from 0.8%; and Personal Care, and Miscellaneous Goods and Services reduced to 4.1% from 4.4%.

Additionally, Recreation, Sport and Culture, Education Services, and Financial Services maintained their previous month’s annual rates. (See Table 2)

The primary contributors to the overall inflation in April 2024 were Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, accounting for an 88.8% share or 7.82 percentage points; Restaurants and Accommodation Services with a 2.0% share or 0.18 percentage points; and Furnishings, Household Equipment, and Routine Household Maintenance with a 1.9% share or 0.16 percentage points.

Losare elaborated that the bottom 30% income HHs in Guimaras posted a consumer price index (CPI) of 134.0 in May 2024.

This indicates that a typical low-income Guimarasnon household needed PHP 1,340.0 in May 2024 to purchase a basket of goods and services worth PHP 1,000.00 in 2018.

The value is lower than the 133.3 CPI in April 2024 but higher than the 123.2 CPI in May 2023.

She further explained that households whose per capita income falls below the bottom 30% of the cumulative per capita distribution are considered low-income.

“The inflation rate for the lowest 30% of income households, who are particularly susceptible to economic and social challenges, was calculated to monitor their well-being,” Losare noted.