Brace for Price Increases as Inflation to Stay 'Elevated', Says Finance Chief

Diokno also clarifies the President's comment.
Photo/s: Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

Prices of goods and other basic commodities are expected to continue increasing as the government estimates inflation to remain "elevated" for the succeeding months, the head of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s economic team said Wednesday.

The annual average inflation for this year is estimated to be at around 5%, Finance Sec. Benjamin Diokno told reporters in a press briefing a day after June inflation came in at 6.1%.

"We estimate that inflation will remain elevated for the next few months... It will be down to 4.2% next year, and it will be back to 3.3% by 2024," he said.


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Diokno also clarified Marcos' statement that he does not agree with the 6.1% inflation rate in June.

"The President's disbelief of the 6.1% June 2022 inflation rate figure was misunderstood. He was referring to it as a full-year figure when in fact the year-to-date meaning January to June average inflation rate is actually 4.4%. So that was what he had in mind," the finance secretary said.

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Inflation is the rate of increase in the prices of basic goods over a period of time. It is usually measured monthly and compared to the same month in the previous year.

Electricity, gas and other fuels, and meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals, drove inflation higher in June Diokno, said.

To alleviate the public's burden on rising fuel costs and address higher inflation, Diokno said the government will expedite the release of the second tranche of fuel subsidy to public utility vehicle operators and drivers.

"Rest assured that the recent acceleration in inflation will be arrested by the government through addressing constraints in the food, energy, and transportation and logistics sectors," he added.

On Tuesday, Marcos said the government was also planning to extend the fuel subsidy to tricycle drivers and that free LRT-2 rides for students would continue until the end of the year.


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