MANILA: Year-on-year inflation in the Philippines ended its downtrend in August, accelerating to 5.3 percent from 4.7 percent in July, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Tuesday.

“The uptrend in the overall inflation in August 2023 was the higher year-on-year increase in food and non-alcoholic beverages at 8.1 percent from 6.3 percent in July,“ Xinhua quoted PSA head Dennis Mapa as telling a press conference.

Specifically, Mapa said the higher prices of rice and vegetables pumped the inflation in food prices. Rice inflation rose by 8.7 percent in August from 4.2 percent in July, while vegetable inflation rose by 31.9 percent from 21.8 percent due to production losses from the enhanced monsoon rains and typhoon.

Mapa said the transport inflation rose by 0.2 percent from an annual decline of 4.7 percent in July, and the recreation, sport, culture index, which rose by 4.9 percent in August from 4.7 percent in July, also contributed to the elevated August inflation rate.

The August inflation rate brought the national average inflation from January to August to 6.6 percent, Mapa added.

“Despite the ongoing challenges we encounter, such as severe weather conditions and trade limitations imposed by other nations, our objective remains to achieve an inflation rate between 2 and 4 percent by the year’s end,“ National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

The Manila-based Asian Development Bank expects inflation in the Philippines to average 6.2 percent in 2023 before easing to 4 percent in 2024. - Bernama

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