Poor Filipino families worst hit by rising July 2018 inflation

Features Philippines Aug 24, 2018 at 2:41 pm

IBON-2018-0808_by-Anne-Marxze-D.-Umil-bulatlat-825x478Research group IBON said that faster inflation largely due to rising food prices hits poor households the worst. The group also said that the Duterte administration’s proposal to increase food imports is short-sighted, and that the best defense against rising food prices and high inflation is to increase domestic food supply through long-term solutions that correct long-standing government neglect of agriculture.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that July 2018 inflation rose to 5.7% from 5.2% the previous month. This was mostly driven by worsening inflation in food and non-alcoholic beverages with higher rates among 9 out of 11 commodity items in the index. Prices rose fastest for vegetables (16%), corn (13%), and fish (11.4%).

IBON said that this increasingly expensive food is particularly problematic for poor families because food takes up a greater portion of their expenditure compared to higher income families. According to the latest available data from the 2015 Family Income and Expenditures Survey, 59.7% of the expenditures of families in the bottom 30% income group was spent on food compared to just 38.8% for families in the upper 70% income group. Rising prices will push more families into hunger and poverty, the group said.

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