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April Inflation Stays at 4.4 Percent


Headline inflation in April was steady at 4.4 percent year-on-year, the same as in March.  The resulting year-to-date average of 4.3 percent is within the Government’s target range of 3.5-5.5 percent for 2010.  Meanwhile, core inflation, which excludes some food and energy items to measure generalized price pressures, increased marginally to 3.9 percent from 3.8 percent (revised) in the previous month.  Month-on-month headline inflation was also higher in April at 0.5 percent from 0.2 percent in March.    

April inflation remained unchanged as the heavily-weighted food items registered the same inflation rate and as non-food inflation was only marginally higher relative to the previous month’s reading.  The following non-food items posted higher inflation rates in April: light, as generation costs continued to increase; and fuel, with higher price increases of LPG and kerosene year-on-year.  Meanwhile, the following items registered lower inflation rates: transportation and communication services, with lower price increases of gasoline and diesel year-on-year; meat, with lower prices in April relative to March; and fish, with ample supply, particularly in the National Capital Region, as the prevailing hot weather conditions boosted fishermen’s catch.  

Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. noted that the April inflation number was within the 3.9-4.8 percent forecast range of the BSP.  He added that the latest assessment continues to show within-target inflation for both 2010 and 2011, even as inflation is expected to pick up slightly over the next few months, in part due to base effects from the low readings last year and  higher crude oil prices. Going forward, Governor Tetangco said that the BSP will monitor closely inflation developments, and take the appropriate steps required to promote  price stability and non-inflationary growth.

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