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Wholesale goods prices, NCR construction retail prices surge

A woman buys groceries at a supermarket in Quezon City, March 4. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

THE growth in wholesale prices of general goods rose to their highest level in more than a decade in June, driven by the food index, the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

The general wholesale price index grew 9% year on year in June, against the 7.9% posted in May and the 2.2% reported a year earlier, according to preliminary data from the PSA.

This was the highest growth rate since the 9.1% posted in September 2011.

Of the eight commodity categories, four posted year-on-year growth in June, with food price growth up 11.4% from 8.8% in May. This was followed by beverages and tobacco (7.4% from 6.6%), mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (59.9% from 57.5%), and manufactured goods classified chiefly by materials (8.8% from 7.9%).

Price growth in crude materials, inedible except fuels, slowed to 8.4% from 9.2%, while growth in chemicals prices, including animal and vegetable oils and fats, eased to 5.9% from 6.6%.

Price growth in machinery and transport equipment was steady at 1.4%. Price growth in miscellaneous manufactured articles declined to 0.6% from 1.7% in June.

All three island groups reported accelerating price growth in bulk goods, led by Luzon, where prices grew 9.4% year on year in June from 8.4% in May. This was followed by the Visayas (5.2% from 4.4%) and Mindanao (4.6% from 3.6%).

In a separate PSA report, retail price growth in construction materials in Metro Manila accelerated in July compared to the previous month.

The construction materials retail price index in the National Capital Region (NCR) grew 7% year on year in July, against the 6.8% rate posted in June and 1.4% a year earlier.

The July indicator was the highest since the 7.4% growth reported in January 2009.

Of the seven commodity groups, three posted accelerated price growth, led by painting materials and related compounds, which rose 5.7% from 4.6% the previous month. This was followed by carpentry materials (3.2% from 2.5%), and masonry materials (4.4% from 4.3%).

Price growth in electrical materials eased to 4.4% from 4.5% in June, followed by plumbing materials (8.1% from 8.5%); tinsmithry materials (9.3% from 9.4%); and miscellaneous construction materials (10.6% from 9.8%). — Mariedel Irish U. Catilogo

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