Retail price growth in Metro Manila was 2.7% in March, the highest rise in three years, as oil and food prices continued to climb, the Authority reported. Philippine Statistics (PSA).
Reporting on the General Retail Price Index (GRPI), the PSA said retail price growth in the National Capital Region (NCR) exceeded the 2.2% rate posted in February and that 2.0% in March 2021.
The March reading has not been matched since April 2019. The indicator’s recent high is 2.8%, posted in March 2019.
Year-to-date retail price growth in Metro Manila has averaged 2.2%, down from 1.7% a year earlier.
In an email, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.’s chief economist, Michael L. Ricafort, said the acceleration in price growth was due to higher oil and commodity prices on the rise. aftermath of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
“The resulting increase in transport costs also led to higher prices for other affected products in the economy,” Ricafort said.
The component of the broader index showing the strongest growth was mineral fuels, lubricants and allied materials, whose prices rose 26.4%, compared to the growth rate of 20.5% the previous month.
Growth in the Beverage and Tobacco GPI recovered to 2.9% from 2.8% in February. Food price growth accelerated from 2.1% to 2.5%, while chemical price growth, including animal and vegetable oils and fats, increased from 1.3 % to 1.7%.
The growth in the prices of manufactured goods classified mainly by materials was 2%, against 1.4% previously, while that of miscellaneous manufactured articles was 0.7%, against 0.5%.
Price growth slowed in machinery and transportation equipment to 0.5% from 0.6% in February.
Prices for raw materials, inedible with the exception of fuels, remained stable in March.
Ricafort expects retail price growth to continue to accelerate, driven by oil and petroleum products and commodities.
“Retail prices in Metro Manila could rise further in the coming months, given the increase in minimum wages, of at least 6%, and (the increase) in minimum transport / jeepney fares of P1 or at least 11%, both effective June 2022, as well as the still high prices of imported global commodities such as oil/oil, foods such as wheat/flour, cereals, among others; metals; other minerals; etc All of these factors could lead to higher prices for other affected goods and services, and overall inflation, especially if the Russian-Ukrainian war drags on for months,” he added. — Mariedel Irish U. Catilogo