MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) The growth rate of consumer prices eased in March, settling at 6.4 percent year-on-year from 7.3 percent in January, according to the National Statistics Office’s (NSO) latest report on inflation.
Prices last month were also increasing at the same pace as they were in March 2008.
Based on NSO data, last month’s was the lowest in eight months from a high of 12.4 percent in August 2008.
In terms of commodity groups, the group of fuel, light and water (FLW) exerted downward pressure on the overall consumer price index as rates went down by 2.8 percent.
All the other commodity groups showed slower increases in prices, including those of food, beverages and tobacco (FBT); clothing, housing and repairs; services and miscellaneous items.
Still, the rise in prices of food, beverages and tobacco remained in double-digits at 11.4 percent although this was a nine-month low from the 17.8 percent observed in July 2008.–Ronnel Domingo, Philippine Daily Inquirer