Through Nadine Mae A. Bo
GLOBAL year-over-year increase in retail prices for building materials in Metro Manila stabilized for a second consecutive month in June, the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) reported. .
Preliminary PSA data released on July 23 indicates that the Building Materials Retail Price Index (CMRPI) rose 1.2% in June, unchanged from the rate recorded in May as well as June 2020.
Four of the seven product groups posted stable year-over-year growth rates compared to their levels in the previous month: sheet metal materials (1.8%), woodwork materials (1.5% ), miscellaneous materials (1.5%) and electrical materials (0.8%).
Meanwhile, the ICMRPI saw slower annual increases over the month in the indices for masonry materials (1.1% vs. 1.5% in May) and plumbing materials (0.6% vs. 0 , 7%).
Only paint materials and related compounds showed a faster annual growth rate in June at 1.1% compared to 0.9% the previous month.
The chief economist of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) Michael L. Ricafort attributed the stable CMRPI to tighter quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila that resulted in reduced economic activity, including expensive items such as building new homes. and renovations.
“Some companies have also cut costs and capital spending since last year’s pandemic, including construction projects, to better cope with the business challenges posed by the pandemic,” Ricafort said in a report. -mail.
In an email, Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) chief economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion said consumers could still be in “wait and see” mode.
“[I]It is good to know that it has not decreased. This may in fact be a good sign and more growth can be expected in the coming months, barring the impact of the Delta variant, ”added Asuncion, referring to the more infectious variant of the disease. coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
The country now has a total of 119 Delta variant cases after the health ministry reported 55 new cases on Sunday. Of the new cases, 37 were local cases while 17 were from Filipinos returning overseas. One is still being verified.
The government placed Metro Manila, as well as Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Davao de Oro and Davao del Norte under general community quarantine “with increased restrictions” between July 23 and the end of the month following reports of collection in cases of Delta variant.
“Any foreclosure due to a Delta variant deviation may prove detrimental to CMRPI’s outlook for the coming months,” said UnionBank’s Mr. Asuncion.
“The government must remain focused on controlling the spread of the virus, especially the Delta variant, to prevent further deterioration in consumer sentiment. Vaccination coverage should continue to expand to further encourage spending on construction, ”he added.
RCBC’s Ricafort concurred, adding that higher vaccination rates could also slow the spread of the Delta variant.
Mr Ricafort noted that removing this risk, increasing infrastructure spending and preparations for the 2022 national elections could lead to “some recovery in demand and prices for various building materials.”