Inflation in the Philippines accelerated to 8.7 per cent in January year-on-year, the highest monthly rate since November 2008, authorities said on Tuesday.
Addressing the media here, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) chief Dennis Mapa said the main driver in the uptrend of inflation from 8.1 per cent in December 2022 was the higher year-on-year increase of the index of housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels at 8.5 per cent, Xinhua news agency reported.
Mapa said the food and non-alcoholic beverages also contributed to the inflation rate at 10.7 percent, and restaurants and accommodation services at 7.6 per cent.
Specifically, electricity and vegetables, particularly onions, were the top contributors to the inflation increase, each accounting for 1.1 percentage points, said National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.
Balisacan said the government had set short-term measures including augmenting supply through the temporary easing of import restrictions, price monitoring, and targeted social support.
In the medium to long term, he added the priority consists of ensuring food security through higher agricultural productivity and energy security by pursuing the energy transition and development program.
The Philippine government expects inflation to moderate from 2023 to 2024, with a slower-than-expected global recovery and waning pent-up domestic demand.
Meanwhile, the PSA said the core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy items in the headline inflation, rose to 7.4 per cent in January.