Manila, Philippines – Inflation, or the movement of prices of basic goods and services, showed no signs of slowing down as it further accelerated to a new 5-year high of 4.6% in May, higher than the 4.5% recorded in April.
The inflation figure in May was within the 4.6% to 5.4% forecast of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) economists.
The BSP said inflation will be at 4.6% on average this year, and will only slow down in 2019.
The Philippine Statistics Authority said inflation was mainly driven by fish and seafood, fuel and lubricants, and bread and cereals.
Some lawmakers want to suspend the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law amid the rising prices of basic commodities, but the country’s economic managers are opposed to this.
The country’s economic managers, in a joint statement read by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno at the news briefing on the announcement of the latest inflation figure, reiterated the importance of TRAIN despite its contribution to higher prices.
“TRAIN is important,” the economic managers said as they cited the need to “bridge the infrastructure gap” in the country.
The central bank earlier raised interest rates by 25 basis points to cap the accelerating inflation rate caused by the implementation of the TRAIN Law and rising oil prices in the global market.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier said that Filipinos “should be less of a crybaby” as oil prices and other goods are more stable now than in previous years.