(Source: Business Mirror | July 4, 2017)
Despite cheaper fuel and food, retail prices in Metro Manila remained high in May this year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
The General Retail Price Index (GRPI) in the National Capital Region (NCR) increased to 3.4 percent in the said month, from 2.2 percent in May 2016.
However, this was slower than the 3.9-percent growth posted in April. The growth of the GRPI in the January-to-May period averaged 4.2 percent.
“The GRPI is an indicator used to monitor the economic situation of the retail trade sector,” the PSA said.
The annual growth of beverages and tobacco index remained at 5.4 percent and miscellaneous manufactured articles index, 0.6 percent.
However, retail prices of food items and fuel slowed to 6.4 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively.
On a month-on-month basis, the GRPI was at 0.1 percent, the same level as it was in April 2017.
Retail food prices increased 0.4 percent due to higher prices of fresh and canned meat, dairy products, fish, rice, canned and preserved fruits, powdered tonic drinks and cooking oil.
Beverages and tobacco picked up by 0.9 percent due to more expensive liquors, soft drinks and cigarettes.
“Price roll backs in petroleum products, such as gasoline, diesel, LPG, kerosene and engine oil, pushed down the group’s index for mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials by 1.2 percent,” the PSA said.
The GRPI is a statistical measure of the changes in the prices at which retailers dispose of their goods to consumers or end-users relative to a base year.
It is also used as a deflator of the National Accounts especially on the retail trade sector and serve as a basis for forecasting business in the retail trade.