Lower inflation to boost economy in countryside, says Davao biz leader

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/08 May) – The easing of the country’s inflation rate to 3 percent last month will drive more economic activities in the countryside, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. president Arturo Milan said.

In a statement on Wednesday, Milan said the lower inflation would be a boon for businesses and countryside traders.

He said lower inflation “opens up the possibility for the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to lower the benchmark interest rates, which in turn, will spur lending and financial activities to increase volumes of trade.”

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the country’s inflation last month further eased from 3.3 percent in March, resulting from a slower annual increase in the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index at 3 percent.

Slower annual increments were also noted in the indices in the alcoholic beverages and tobacco, 9.9 percent; clothing and footwear, 2.4 percent; housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels; and furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house, both at 3.2 percent; health, 3.7 percent; and restaurant and miscellaneous goods and services, 3.5 percent.

Zamboanga Peninsula, comprising Zamboanga City and the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay, reported an inflation rate of 1.6 percent, the lowest inflation rate in Mindanao and the second lowest in the country.

The inflation in Caraga Region stood at 2.6 percent; Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, 3.7 percent; Davao Region, 3.9 percent; Soccsksargen, 4 percent; and Northern Mindanao, 4.3 percent. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)