Philippine inflation jumps following Haiyan

January 07, 2014 - 8:31:28 am

MANILA: Devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan pushed inflation in the Philippines to a two-year high of 4.1 percent in December, the government said Tuesday.

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said major food items rose across the board, especially in storm-hit areas.

Haiyan lashed the central Philippines in November, leaving 8,000 people dead and missing and more than four million homeless. 

It also destroyed key infrastructure, which led to gridlocks that resulted in artificial supply crunches, the government said.

"Almost all food items in the average consumer basket increased, which can be mainly attributed to the impact of Typhoon Yolanda or local name Haiyan," Balisacan said in a statement.

"Some food items even reached double-digit inflation in the areas hardest hit by the typhoon," he added. 

He said December's inflation was the highest since the 4.2 percent registered in December 2011.

However, full-year inflation averaged 3.0 percent, which is at the low end of the government's 3.0-5.0 percent target.

Balisacan said that adding to inflation pressures were an uptick on oil prices as well as a 40 percent hike in generation charges imposed by Manila Electric Co., which distributes power to Manila and its surrounding provinces. (AFP)