December inflation pick-up threatens recovery despite subdued 2020

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By: Philstar

Consumer prices accelerated for the third straight month in December, stoking worries that a projected recovery from the pandemic this year would be hampered by rising prices which nonetheless ended 2020 at a manageable level.

Inflation, as measured by consumer price index, hit 3.5% year-on-year last month, the fastest in nearly 2 years or since February 2019’s 3.8%, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Tuesday.

Despite the latest uptick, inflation averaged 2.6% year-on-year in 2020, well within the central bank’s 2-4% target after earlier months recorded slower price increases because of crippled demand from lockdowns.

Still, inflation ended 2020 slighly faster than 2.5% in 2019 and this is telling especially when one considers that consumer demand, typically driving prices, was generally subdued after business disruptions from the health crisis resulted into joblessness and lowered family incomes.


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