Marcos not in ‘disbelief’ over 6.1% inflation

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s recent statement that he was in “disbelief” over the 6.1-percent inflation rate for June was “misunderstood,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Wednesday.

Diokno insisted that the Chief Executive was referring to the year-to-date rate, or 4.4 percent for January to June 2022.

“[T]he President’s disbelief at the 6.1-percent June 2022 inflation rate figure was misunderstood,” the official said at a press briefing in Malacañang.

“He was referring to it as a full-year figure when in fact the year to date, meaning January to June, inflation rate is actually 4.4 percent. That’s what he has in mind,” he added.

Diokno further explained that the figure for last month is still within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ forecast range of 5.7 to 6.5 percent for June.

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“And from January to June 2022, as I earlier mentioned, the average inflation rate of 4.4 percent is still within the Development Budget Coordination Committee’s target of 3.7 to 4.7 percent for the year as of May 24th, 2022,” noted the Finance secretary.

“The uptick in the June 2022 inflation rate was contributed by the following: operation of personal transport equipment, meaning, the use of cars, et cetera; electricity, gas and other fuels; and meat and other parts of slaughtered land animals,” he added.

Diokno likewise pointed out that high inflation rates do not solely affect the Philippines but are also felt globally. “The President was correct in saying that the current high inflation experience is global. Among our peers, Indonesia’s overall inflation climbed to 4.4 percent in June from 3.6 percent in May. Meanwhile, Thailand’s inflation rate increased to 7.7 percent in June from 7.1 percent in May,” Diokno stated.

“Inflation in the eurozone, which includes Germany, Italy, Spain, et cetera, stood at 8.6 percent in June. The highest in 11 years. And, meanwhile, in the US, the inflation rate reached a 40-year high of 8.6 percent. Rest assured, the recent acceleration of inflation will be arrested by the government through addressing constraints in the food, energy and transportation and logistics sectors,” he added.

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