Corporate News

General Wholesale Price Index Slows to 1% in June AUGUST 31-SEPTEMBER 1, 2007

The wholesale prices of commodities in the country decelerated to 1 percent in June 2007 on the back of a decline in the prices of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, according to figures recently released by the National Statistics Office (NSO).

The June 2007 year-on-year inflation rate of the General Wholesale Price Index (GWPI) was lower than the 1.7 percent posted in May. The annual rate of change in the prices of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials dropped to 9.3 percent from 7.7 percent.

"Moreover, slower annual price increments were observed in food items at 4.2 percent from 5.2 percent; machinery and transport equipment, 0.9 percent from 1.2 percent and miscellaneous manufactured articles, 0.7 percent from 0.9 percent," the NSO said.

On the other hand, higher annual price increases were recorded in beverages and tobacco, which posted a 1.4 percent increase; crude materials, inedible except fuels, 20.3 percent; chemicals, including animal and vegetable oils and fats, 6.7 percent; and manufactured good classified chiefly by materials, 6 percent. Wholesale prices in the country, the NSO said, also increased by 0.3 percent in June, but was slower than the 0.5-percent growth in May.

The wholesale food index at the national level declined to 0.1 percent in June from 0.2 percent in May due to the 0.5-percent decline in prices of chicken, selected fish species, fruits, vegetables, tubers and root crops in Luzon.

However, the NSO noted that there were increases in the prices of pork, meat products and poultry feeds, which contributed to a 1.5-percent growth in the food index in the Visayas.

Meanwhile, increases in the prices of milled rice, wheat four, selected fruit and vegetables, cooking oil and dessicated coconut also raised the food group's index in Mindanao by 0.6 percent.

Higher prices of copra and abaca in Luzon also moved up the food group's index by 0.9 percent and 0.8 percent in the Philippines, respectively.

"These were, however, slower than their corresponding last month's rates of 2.2 percent and 1.9 percent. Prices of crude materials, inedible except fuels, generally remained stable in Mindanao as its group's index posted a zero growth from 0.2 percent, while the Visayas it retained in its previous month's growth rate of 0.4 percent," the NSO said.

Meanwhile, the NSO said there were increases in the prices of crude petroleum products and LPG, which eventually pushed up the index for mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials in Luzon by 1.2 percent in June from 1.0 percent in May.

However, the decline in the prices of selected petroleum products in the Visayas decreased the group's index by 0.3 percent. Nonetheless, prices generally remained stable in Mindanao where the group's index registered a zero-percent growth in June.

"These mixed-price trends resulted in a 1.0-percent growth in the national index, slower than the 1.1-percent growth last month," the NSO said. Increases in the prices of paints and vitamins in Mindanao raised the index for chemicals, including animal and vegetable oils and fats, by 0.2 percent. This also raised the index in the whole Philippines, including Luzon, where the index increased by 0.4 percent in June.

The NSO attributed this increase in the prices of coconut oil, fertilizer and other chemical products. However, prices of chemicals, including animal and vegetable oils and fats, in the Visayas remained stable with a zero percent growth. Meanwhile, the index for manufactured goods classified by materials rose by 0.3 percent in Luzon as prices of cement, steel bars and other paper products went up in June. The group's index in Mindanao also went up to 1.6 percent.

"[This is] due to the add-ons in the prices of bond paper and other converted paper products. Meanwhile, a zero growth was seen in the group's national index climbed by 0.4 percent from 0.1 percent," the NSO said.

There was also a hike in electrical wire prices which increased the index for machinery and transport equipment in Luzon by 0.1 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, in the Philippines.

Prices of machinery and transport equipment in the Visayas and Mindanao generally remained the same. Prices of miscellaneous manufactured articles went up by 0.3 percent in Mindanao as prices of selected ready-made apparel in the area increased.

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