The Philippines' headline inflation or overall inflation increased to 5.3 percent in August 2023 from 4.7 percent in July 2023. This brings the national average inflation from January to August 2023 to 6.6 percent. In August 2022, inflation rate was higher at 6.3 percent.
The uptrend in the overall inflation in August 2023 was primarily influenced by the higher year-on-year increase in the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages at 8.1 percent during the month from 6.3 percent in the previous month. The annual growth of transport at 0.2 percent during the month, from an annual decline of -4.7 percent in July 2023, also contributed to the uptrend. In addition, the recreation, sport and culture index recorded an annual increase of 4.9 percent during the month from 4.7 percent in July 2023.
In contrast, six commodity groups showed lower inflation rates during the month:
a. Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 10.1 percent from 10.9 percent;
b. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, 2.5 percent from 4.5 percent;
c. Furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance, 5.6 percent from 5.8 percent;
d. Education services, 2.9 percent from 3.7 percent;
e. Restaurants and accommodation services, 7.1 percent from 7.9 percent; and
f. Personal care, and miscellaneous goods and services, 5.5 percent from 5.6 percent.
The indices of the rest of the commodity groups retained their respective previous month's annual increases, while the financial services remained at zero growth during the month.
Inflation rate soars to 5.3 percent in August 2023 – PSA
The top three commodity groups contributing to the August 2023 overall inflation were the following:
a. Food and non-alcoholic beverages with 57.4 percent share or 3.0 percentage points;
b. Restaurants and accommodation services with 12.8 percent share or 0.7 percentage point; and
c. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels with 10.0 percent share or 0.5 percentage point.
Food inflation at the national level rose to 8.2 percent in August 2023 from 6.3 percent in July 2023. In August 2022, food inflation was lower at 6.5 percent. (Table 9)
The acceleration of food inflation in August 2023 was mainly brought about by the higher year-on-year growth rate observed in rice at 8.7 percent from 4.2 percent in July 2023. This was followed by vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses with an inflation rate of 31.9 percent during the month from 21.8 percent in July 2023. In addition, faster annual increments were noted in fish and other seafood at 6.9 percent in August 2023 from 4.5 percent in the previous month, and fruits and nuts with 9.6 percent during the month from 8.4 percent in July 2023.
The indices of meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals had slower annual decrease of -0.1 percent in August 2023 from -1.7 percent in the previous month.