By Joseph B.A. Marzan
Costlier restaurants and accommodation services were the main drivers of the sudden jump in inflation in Western Visayas last month, according to the latest Consumer Price Index released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday, December 6.
The November 2022 inflation report indicated that inflation in the region spiked to 9.6 percent, a 1.6 percent jump from October (8.0 percent).
This shows a huge uptick compared to the minimal 0.5 percent jump between the September and October rates. The rate change is also high when compared to September (7.5 percent) and August (7.4 percent) 2022.
The increase is even more pronounced at 4.9 percent if compared to the November 2021 rate (4.7 percent).
Restaurants and accommodation services posted the highest inflation rate in November at 9.9 percent, a 2.9 percent jump from the 7 percent rate in October.
This group (which includes restaurants, hotels, resorts, and other related products and services) is also the second-highest commodity countrywide, accounting for 6.5 percent inflation and contributing 19.8 percent share in overall national inflation, according to PSA chief Claire Dennis Mapa during their press conference on Tuesday.
Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels, which was the main driver for the October rate, remained near the top with a 2.5 percent jump, at 11.7 percent in November from 9.2 percent in October.
This group accounts for the prices of electric power, water utilities, wood fuel, liquified petroleum gas, and rent rates on residential properties.
Most commodity groups indicated an increase in their inflation rates last month compared to their October rates, including:
- Furnishings, Household Equipment, and Routine Household Maintenance by 1.9 percent (7.0 percent from 5.1 percent);
- Personal Care and Miscellaneous Goods and Services by 1.6 percent (5.8 percent from 4.2 percent);
- Information and Communication by 1.5 percent (2.6 percent from 1.1 percent);
- Recreation, Sport, and Culture by 1.3 percent (4.4 percent from 3.1 percent);
- Clothing and Footwear by 1.3 percent (3.3 percent from 2.0 percent);
- Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages by 1.2 percent (10.1 percent from 8.9 percent);
- Transport by 1.1 percent (14.3 percent from 13.2 percent); and
- Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco by 1 percent (11.5 percent from 10.5 percent).
Meanwhile, education services remained stagnant at 0.4 percent, and while health experienced slight deflation at 1.4 percent last month, down slightly from 1.5 percent two months ago.
The national inflation rate rose to 8.0 percent in November 2022, from 7.7 percent in October, and more than double from November 2021 (3.7 percent), and with a year-to-date average inflation growth of 5.6 percent.
Deputy National Statistician Divina Gracia Del Prado stated during their press conference that Western Visayas is one of 12 regions in the country with increased inflation rates.
Del Prado attributed the national inflation hike in November to the increase in prices of Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages, which has gone up to 10 percent, contributing a 58.4 percent share to the uptrend of inflation across the country.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas defines inflation as the sustained increase in the general price of goods and services typically purchased by customers, measuring the speed of the rise in overall prices.
Inflation affects decision-making not only in government spending, but also day-to-day decisions by individuals or households in spending for their sustenance, investments, and savings.