Wholesale prices for goods continued to increase in September. — FILIPINO STAR/ WALTER BOLLOZOS
WHOLESALE PRICES for general goods rallied in September, reflecting possible second-round effects of inflation and the peso depreciation against the US dollar.
Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that the general wholesale price index (GWPI) rose 8.2% year-on-year, faster than growth of 7.6% in August and 3.3% in September 2021.
September’s growth was the fastest in three months, or since June’s 9% expansion.
“The increase was mainly driven by the higher annual increase in the index for chemicals, including animal and vegetable oils and fats, to 5.1% from 2.7% in August 2022,” the PSA said.
The GWPI maps wholesale and serves as a benchmark for price adjustments in business contracts and project calculations.
Year to date, the GWPI has averaged 7.4%.
Four of the eight commodity categories reported faster year-on-year price growth in September.
The food index rose 12.9% in September, faster than August’s 12.4%. Mineral fuel, lubricants and related materials prices rose 38.9% in September versus 38.5% the previous month.
In September, prices for finished goods and other finished goods increased by 4.3% (from 3.9% in August) and 3.3% (from 2.8%) respectively.
On the other hand, the annual decline in Raw Materials Nonedible Other than Fuel slowed to -4.8% in September from -5.8% in the previous month.
“Annual increases in the Beverage and Tobacco and Machinery and Transportation Equipment indices declined by 8.4% and 1.1%, respectively,” the PSA said.
Wholesale price inflation in Luzon topped the national average at 8.5% in September, up from 8% in August and 3.4% a year ago.
GWPI growth in the Visayas accelerated to 6.9% in September, from 6.2% in the previous month and 0.4% in the same month in 2021.
In Mindanao, the GWPI slowed to 4% in September from 4.3% in August and 4.9% a year ago.
Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. chief economist Michael L. Ricafort was contacted for comment and said in a Viber message that the rise in wholesale prices reflected second-round effects from increased inflation.
“The report’s findings may reflect second-round inflationary effects following higher minimum wages and higher fares in June-July 2022, which also led to higher prices for other goods and services; and the then weaker peso exchange rate, which contributed to import prices and headline inflation,” said Mr. Ricafort.
The country’s headline inflation rate accelerated to 6.9% in September 2021 from 6.3% in August and 4.2% in September 2021 on the back of rising food costs.
Mr Ricafort said wholesale prices could soften in the coming months as global crude prices have fallen.
“In the coming months, wholesale prices could ease after the fall in global crude oil prices to fresh 11-month lows and also lower prices for other global commodities on concerns of a potential recession in the United States, the world’s largest economy. and the ongoing lockdowns in China, the world’s second-largest economy and the world’s largest importer of oil and other key global commodities,” Mr. Ricafort said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave