THE country’s inflation rate skyrocketed to 7.7 percent in October 2022, the highest over the past 14 years, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Friday, November 4, 2022.

October’s inflation is over 11 percent higher than the end-September level of 6.9 percent and 75 percent higher than the same period in 2021.

The average inflation rate from January to October 2022 stood at 5.4 percent, still within the administration’s projected range of 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent for the entire 2022.

“The continued uptrend of the October 2022 inflation was primarily due to the higher annual growth rate in the index for food and non-alcoholic beverages at 9.4 percent, from 7.4 percent in September 2022,” the PSA said.

The agency also noted higher annual increments in the indices of the following commodity groups that also contributed to the uptrend of the overall inflation in October 2022:

*Alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 10.4 percent;

*Clothing and footwear, 3.1 percent;

*Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, 7.4 percent;

*Furnishings, household equipment and routine household maintenance, 3.8 percent;

*Health, 2.6 percent;

*Recreation, sport and culture, 3.0 percent;

*Restaurants and accommodation services, 5.7 percent; and

*Personal care, and miscellaneous goods and services, 3.7 percent.

Faster annual growth rates were also observed in rice (2.5 percent); corn (27.4 percent); flour, bread and other bakery products, pasta products, and other cereals (9.8 percent); fish and other seafood (9.4 percent); milk, other dairy products and eggs (8.7 percent); oils and fats (20.4 percent); fruits and nuts, 4.9 percent; sugar, confectionery and desserts (34.4 percent); and ready-made food and other food products not elsewhere classified (8.1 percent).

Inflation for food at the national level increased further to 9.8 percent in October 2022 from 7.7 percent in September 2022.

“Core inflation, which excludes selected food and energy items in the headline inflation, rose to 5.9 percent in October 2022 from 5.0 percent in September 2022. In October 2021, core inflation stood at 2.5 percent,” the PSA said.

“The increased inflation for vegetables, tubers, plantains, cooking bananas and pulses at 16.0 percent; and meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals at 11.5 percent predominantly influenced the higher food inflation in October 2022,” he added.

The PSA said transport and education services registered slower annual increases at 12.5 and 3.4 percent, respectively.

Information and communication, and financial services retained their previous month’s inflation rates. (SunStar Philippines)