Philippine Inflation Reaches 6.1% in September 2023 Amid Soaring Food and Transportation Costs / Irra Lising

In a recent report, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed that the inflation rate for September 2023 surged to 6.1%. This substantial increase is primarily attributed to sharp spikes in food prices, especially rice, and the relentless rise in transportation expenses due to soaring fuel costs.

Compared to August’s 5.3% inflation rate, September witnessed a faster uptick in everyday goods and services prices. Nevertheless, it remained slightly lower than the 6.9% figure reported in September 2022.

The most significant contributor to September’s inflation was the substantial year-on-year escalation in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages, which jumped from 8.1% in August to a notable 9.7% in September. Following closely were increased transport costs, surging from 0.2% in August to 1.2% in September.

Although the 6.1% headline inflation rate falls within the 5.3% to 6.1% range forecasted by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for September, it still exceeds the central bank’s 2 to 4% inflation target. This 6.1% rate marks the highest recorded figure in four months, with May also reporting a matching 6.1% inflation rate.

Rising food and fuel prices have reignited concerns about inflation in the Philippines, making it a pressing issue among citizens and a key factor contributing to dissatisfaction with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., according to a September survey by Pulse Asia.