Headline inflation stays at 4.5% in April as pork remains pricey and base effects supportive
April inflation at 4.5%
Philippine inflation remained above target for a fourth month in April with headline inflation staying at 4.5%, unchanged from March. Inflationary pressures emanated from the index-heavy food component and transport costs. Food and beverage inflation was 4.8%, down from 5.8% the previous month, as pork prices were still 22.1% above prices the same month in 2020 while fish prices were up 6%. Transport costs continued to edge higher with inflation for this sector accelerating to 17.9% (from 13.8%) driven by a 48.4% increase in tricycle fares and increases in retail pump prices. Upside pressure on inflation remained confined to specific supply-side issues (African Swine Fever for pork and global crude oil prices) as well as pandemic-related health protocols (tricycle fares, restaurants and other services) while demand-side pressures stayed muted with inflation for recreation and culture still negative (-0.6%) for a 9th straight month. Should price pressures continue to dissipate, we can expect inflation to decelerate as early as next month with 4.5% possibly the peak for the year.