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Diokno anticipates that inflation will slow down in Q1

The country’s inflation rate continued to soar, reaching a new 14-year high of 8.7 percent in January. This rate is expected to peak in December 2022, but according to finance secretary Benjamin Diokno, it will begin to slow down this quarter in part because of falling oil prices.

“Consider the stabilizing peso, declining oil prices, and the relatively mild La Nia” (less unpredictable weather in the first half of the year). I anticipate a price slowdown to begin in the first quarter of 2023,” he told journalists via Viber on Tuesday.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) earlier in the day announced that the monthly inflation rate was driven by an increase in the annual rate of price increases for housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, which increased to 8.5 percent from 7 percent in December 2022.

At 3%, the inflation rate in January 2022 is lower.

The core rate of inflation, which does not include volatile food and energy prices, increased from 6.9% in December 2022 to 7.4% in December 2023. 1.8% was the level from the previous year.

According to Diokno, January’s inflation rate was higher than the central bank’s prediction of between 7.5 percent and 8.3 percent as well as the median prognosis of 7.6 percent made by experts in the private sector.

“The President is on top of the situation as the administration continues to employ a whole-of-government approach to reduce inflation, notably on important food items,” Diokno stated in response to this incident.

“The government steps up efforts to raise regional output and agricultural productivity. Through EO (Executive Order) No. 10, the administration has temporarily loosened import limits on necessities, he continued.

In order to lower prices, farmers and fishermen will continue to be linked to consumers, according to Diokno.

“By preserving fiscal discipline, the government guarantees that its fiscal policy avoids adding up to aggregate demand that threatens higher inflation,” he said.

Diokno emphasized the effort to lower inflation to within the government’s 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent projection for the year, saying, “It (the government) will continue to give targeted subsidies to impacted sectors to cushion the impact of elevated inflationary pressures.”

Up until 2024, the government aims to keep inflation between 2 and 4 percent.

In the future, he continued, “Modernizing and enhancing agriculture and assuring a sufficient and lower energy supply could assist stabilize inflation.”

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