MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network): Inflation in the Philippines went up even higher at 8.1 per cent in December 2022 from 8 per cent in November, bringing the full-year average to 5.8 per cent, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
National Statistician Dennis Mapa said in a press briefing the December readout was mainly driven by faster rate of increases in prices of vegetables especially cabbage, rice, and fruits like bananas.
Other big contributors to faster inflation were restaurants and accommodation services as well as housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels.
Inflation in December was the highest since November 2008, and was more than twice as high as the 3.1 per cent recorded in December 2021.
It was slightly below the 8.2 per cent median forecast in a Reuters poll, but within the central bank’s 7.8 percent to 8.6 per cent forecast for December.
Core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy components, rose to 6.9 per cent in December from 6.5 per cent in November.
Food inflation at the national level rose further to 10.6 per cent in December from the prior month’s 10.3 per cent.
The Philippine central bank has not ruled out further interest rate hikes in 2023, after raising the benchmark by a total of 350 basis points last year to curb inflation and support a weak peso.