Western Visayas food inflation slows

Buyers haggle with vendors at the Jaro Public Market. (Photo by Rjay Zuriaga Castor)

By Joseph Bernard A. Marzan

A slowdown in rising prices in many commodity sub-groups led to a decrease in food inflation rate in Western Visayas to 7.3 percent in May 2024, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA)-Region 6.

The 7.3 percent rate is 0.2 percent lower than April’s 7.5 percent and 1.5 percent lower than 8.8 percent a year ago.

The PSA-6, in its June 10 special release on the regional consumer price index, attributed the decline to significant downtrends in the following categories:

-Meat and other parts of slaughtered animals: 11.2 percent in May (from 12.5 percent in April)

-Cereals and cereal products: 15.7 percent (from 16.0 percent)

-Fruits and nuts: 3.6 percent (from 6.1 percent)

-Fish and other seafood: 0.2 percent (from 0.4 percent)

-Milk, other dairy products, and eggs: 2.1 percent (from 3.0 percent)

-Oils and fats: -1.6 percent (from -1.2 percent)

In the cereals and cereal products category, the inflation rate of rice remained at 20.4 percent in May, significantly higher than May 2023’s 5.0 percent.

However, some categories saw higher inflation rates last month:

-Vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas, and pulses: 0.1 percent (from -1.3 percent)

-Sugar, confectionery, and desserts: -3.3 percent (from -3.6 percent)

-Ready-made food and other food products not elsewhere classified: 5.5 percent (from 4.8 percent)

The 0.3 percent decrease in the regional food inflation rate significantly contributed to the overall inflation rate slowdown in May (4.3 percent), accounting for a 66.7 percent share.

When broken down by area in Western Visayas, three provinces saw their inflation rates for food and non-alcoholic beverages decrease in May:

-Aklan: 8.8 percent (from 10.1 percent in April)

-Antique: 8.4 percent (from 10.9 percent)

-Negros Occidental: 6.6 percent (from 7.4 percent)

Meanwhile, the following areas experienced an uptick in their inflation rates between April and May:

-Capiz: 6.9 percent (from 6.1 percent)

-Guimaras: 11.1 percent (from 10.9 percent)

-Iloilo City: 3.8 percent (from 3.0 percent)

-Bacolod City: 6.1 percent (from 4.7 percent)

Iloilo province is the only area in the region where the inflation rate for food and non-alcoholic beverages remained unchanged between April and May at 7.3 percent.