The slowdown in inflation rate of the region during the month can be traced from the recorded inflation rate of the four provinces that exhibited deceleration compared with the record in March 2018 and during the previous month of February 2019. The province of Nueva Vizcaya which recorded the highest inflation across provinces in the region during last month posted the biggest shrinkage by 3.1 percent index points. Similarly, inflation rate in the provinces of Isabela and Quirino slid down by 0.5 percent index point while inflation in the province of Cagayan softened by 0.7 percent index point. Compared with the recorded inflation in March 2018, the province of Quirino exhibited the highest deceleration of 2.2 percent index points followed by the provinces of Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya that ticked down by 1.8 percent index points each while the province of Cagayan shrunk by 1.2 percent index points.
On the contrary, the island province of Batanes inflation rate was steady at 4.7 percent during months of February and March 2019 but accelerated by 0.5 percent index points when compared with record of inflation posted in March 2018.
The year-on-year inflation rates revealed that the highest annual average was registered in 2018 at 5.5 percent while the lowest average rate was registered at 0.6 percent in 2015. March inflation were of record high in 2014 and 2018 and went down slightly in 2019 but still way above the record in 2015 and 2016.
Across all years and on a monthly basis, inflation in October 2018 marked the highest inflation so far recorded since 2014. More so, during the year 2018, the last semester recorded an inflation rate above the annual average.
On the other hand, a three-month deflation was recorded in 2015 with inflation in the remaining nine-month period limited only to a little more than 1 percent. This scenario equated to less than 1 percent annual inflation, the lowest so far during the past five years.
For the record, the 1st quarter movement of inflation in 2014 is almost identical during this year, only that, the de-escalated movement during the year 2019 is quite abrupt in terms of monthly percent index points reduction.
Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco steadily ranked the highest CPI
Consumer Price Index (CPI) is an indicator of change in the average retail prices of a fixed basket of goods and services commonly purchased by households relative to a base year. It measures how much on the average, prices of goods and services have increased or decreased from a particular reference period.
CPI for All Items in the region for March 2019 was recorded at 119.5, a 2.9 percent increase over the record set in the same month a year ago at 116.1. On the contrary, CPI for All Items in the region during this month is 0.6 percent lower than the figure recorded in February 2019 or an equivalent chopped of 0.7 price index from 120.2 record in February 2019.
Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco still ranked the highest price index in the region at 231.1, slightly move up by 0.1 price index over the CPI record in February 2019 and higher by 22.1 price index, a year ago. This is followed by Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance of the House and Clothing and Footwear with CPI of 126.0 and 122.0, respectively, the same figure set in February 2019. Both commodities also went up from last year’s indices of 119.1 and 117.3, respectively. CPI for Education in the region for the past three months was steady at 87.2 and is the lowest price index across all items in the region during the same periods.
CPI for All Items in the province of Isabela at 121.6 is the highest price index across provinces, higher by 2.1 price index of the region. The CPI record of the island province of Batanes is trailing behind at 120.8 while CPI in the province of Quirino was at the bottom at 115.8.
By commodity group, CPI for Alcoholic, Beverages and Tobacco in the province of Cagayan at 251.1 posted the highest CPI across provinces in the region, a remarkable 67.2 price index points higher than the lowest CPI record in the island province of Batanes at 183.9. The CPI record of Cagayan for this commodity group also surpasses the regional average by 20.0 price index points. Similarly, CPI for Health in Cagayan province at 124.7 also topped the CPI record of all provinces in the region, a 9.6 price index points higher than the regional average at 115.1. CPI record in the province of Batanes for this commodity group was still the lowest at 89.5.
CPI in the province of Isabela for Clothing and Footwear at 124.1 bested all other provinces record for this commodity group surpassing the regional average by 2.1 price index points and higher by 12.0 price index points over the CPI record in Batanes province. CPI for the same commodity group in the provinces of Cagayan and Nueva Vizcaya are close at more than 120 while the province of Quirino is next at the bottom at 113.2 price index.
Price index for Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages in the region at 120.8 is the third highest CPI across commodity group. For this commodity group, price index in the island province of Batanes at 126.7 topped all other provinces’ indices which are to close only at 120 price index level with the province of Nueva Vizcaya report at 119.0, the lowest across provinces report in this commodity group. Similarly, the CPI for Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas, and Other Fuels in the province of Batanes at 137.4 also set a record high across provinces’ report. The lowest CPI for this commodity group was reported in the province of Quirino at 113.2. Also, the price index reported in the province of Batanes for Transport at 105.5 is at the top of all the reports for this commodity group but all other provinces reports are similarly situated at more than 100.0 with lowest CPI report from the province of Nueva Vizcaya at 100.1. The CPI for Education in Batanes province was also a record high at 166.0, almost double the regional average and more than double the lowest quoted CPI in the province of Cagayan at 64.6 price index.
For the three commodity groups namely Furnishing, Household Equipment and Routine Maintenance of the House, Recreation and Culture including Restaurant and Miscellaneous Goods and Services, the CPI report in the province of Quirino upend all reports of the other provinces in the region. It recorded a price index of 130.6 in the first commodity group mentioned, setting a price index difference of 10.3 from the lowest quoted CPI in Batanes at 120.3 and surpassing the regional average by 4.6 price index points. In the same manner, the CPI record in the province of Batanes at 129.5 for Recreation and Culture surpasses the regional average by 7.6 price index points and higher by 18.5 price index points over the CPI report of Batanes for the same commodity group. In addition, the CPI report of the province for Restaurant and Miscellaneous Goods and Services recorded at 119.4 is 3.6 and 7.0 price index points higher than the regional average and the lowest CPI across provinces, respectively.
The province of Nueva Vizcaya topped the CPI for Communication in the region. Its CPI record of 104.2 is 4.8 price index points higher than the regional average and a 10.4 price index points edge over the CPI report of Cagayan province recorded at 93.8.
Cagayan Valley CPI At Par with CARAGA Region
Price index for all items in the region for March 2019 at 119.5 is positioned intermediately across region’s price indices and is similarly situated with the price index captured in Caraga region. ARMM region still keeps the highest price index at 126.1 during the reporting month, higher by 6.8 index points with the national average of 119.3 price index for all items. On the other hand, CPI for all items in NCR, CAR and CALABARZON regions with identical price index of 117.4 is found at the bottom of the price indices reported across regions.
Compared with March 2018 record, the region’s CPI for all items during this month rose by 3.4 index points, the same movement and almost the same increment with that of the national average.
Along with four regions, the average CPI at the national level did not move for the past two months while Cagayan Valley’s CPI move backward by 0.7 index points, the highest down tick across regions with eight regions CPI for All Items de-escalated by 0.1 to 0.3 index points only. Three regions reported an increase in the CPI which include NCR, CAR and ARMM.
Purchasing Power of Peso Stronger by 0.01 cents
Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) shows how much the peso in the base period is worth in another period. It gives an indication of the real value of the peso in a given period relative to the peso value in the base period. Purchasing Power of Peso (PPP) is inversely related to inflation rate. Thus, as inflation rate increases, PPP declines.
The PPP in the region regained strength by 0.01 centavos during the month of March 2019 after a three-month constant state at P0.83 but still below the record of P0.86 in March 2018. This means that the value of P1.00 in 2012 is only worth P0.84 in March this year.
During the month, the province of Isabela displayed the weakest PPP at P0.82, the same record posted last month. The PPP in Quirino province remains the strongest across provinces and remained stable for the past eight months at P0.86. Meanwhile, PPP in the island province of Batanes weakens by 0.01 centavos from its last month’s record of P0.84 while PPP in the province Cagayan remained unchanged at P0.84 for the past two months. (SR-2019-015)