Philippines has Highest Inflation among 10 SEA Countries

Are you feeling the effects of inflation?
Regardless if you’re affected or not by rising inflation in the country, one thing is sure: data shows that the Philippines recorded the highest inflation rate among 10 Southeast Asian (SEA) countries in August 2018.
The Philippines’ inflation rate in August 2018 rose to 6.4% — way above the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) target. For 2018, the BSP targets inflation to merely stay within the 2% to 4% range, and it looks like this target can no longer be achieved this year.

Brunei, Singapore, and Malaysia had less than 1% inflation

In contrast, Brunei, Singapore, and Malaysia had less than 1% inflation in August 2018. Inflation in Brunei is just 0.20% while Singapore’s inflation is 0.60% and Malaysia’s inflation is at 0.90%.

Here’s the official explanation on the cause of the 6.4% inflation rate, from the official BSP press release:

  • Inflation went up as most Food items as well as Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco recorded price increases.
  • Rice inflation increased to 7.1% year-on-year due to tighter supply resulting from the ongoing lean season and adverse weather conditions.
  • Recent typhoons also affected the supply of fruits and vegetables while Sugar prices rose as continuous rains dampened domestic output.
  • Higher prices of Meat, Fish, and Seafood also pushed up inflation
  • Non-food inflation eased to 4.1% from 4.2% in July as the upward adjustment in electricity rates due to higher generation charge was offset by the decline in inflation for education as a result of the free-tuition program of the government for the public tertiary level.

Is Rising Inflation Bad?

Inflation measures the rise in prices of goods and services in a country. Rising inflation is normal, as long as it is within the central bank’s target and the pace of increase is manageable.
But in the case of the Philippines, the August 2018 rate was clearly unplanned and unexpected by the BSP. It also was the fastest 1-year increase in inflation among 10 Southeast Asian countries — rising by 3.3 percentage points from 3.1% in September 2017 to 6.4% in August 2018.
In contrast, the inflation rates of Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, and Brunei even decreased compared to a year ago. For its part, however, the Philippine BSP promises to control inflation in the coming months by raising interest rates further.
This table compares the inflation rates of 10 SEA nations, as compiled by economic indicators website TradingEconomics.

1University of the Philippines VisayasMiagao100%1919
1Asian Theological SeminaryQuezon City100%1010
1Ateneo de Davao UniversityDavao City100%1010
1Ateneo de Manila UniversityQuezon City100%1010
2Xavier UniversityCagayan de Oro94%1617
3Miriam CollegeQuezon City93%1415
4San Pedro CollegeDavao City92%1314
5University of the Philippines DilimanQuezon City91%1112
6St. Joseph's College of Quezon CityQuezon City90%1820
6Saint Louis UniversityBaguio City90%910
7Ateneo de Zamboanga UniversityZamboanga City86%1315
8De la Salle University DasmariñasDasmariñas City85%1720
8University of Santo TomasManila85%1214
9Centro Escolar UniversityManila84%1113
10Holy Angel UniversityAngeles City81%911

Meanwhile, the infographic below highlights the inflation rates in the Top 10 countries with a lot of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). The data shows that inflation in these countries are still relatively low or stable.

About the Author


PSEi support seen at 6,200 and 6,000 amid weaker Peso

In a not-so-surprising move, the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) yesterday raised interest rates by 75 basis points (bps) or 0.75% in a bid to tame rising inflation in the United States. This was the third consecutive 0.75% rate hike by the Fed, which brings the federal funds rate, the central bank’s benchmark interest rate, to ... Read more

Official SWIFT Code of BDO, BPI, Metrobank, Philippine banks

When sending cash remittances or wire transfer to a bank account in the Philippines (such as BDO, BPI, Metrobank, Landbank, DBP, etc.), you’ll surely need the SWIFT Code of the bank. Look no further because you can find all the SWIFT Codes you need in this list! Make sure you’re using the right bank code ... Read more

How to Waive your Credit Card Annual Fee (BDO, BPI, Metrobank, RCBC, Citibank, UnionBank)

Without a doubt, one of the most annoying fees that credit cardholders have to pay is the annual fee. Majority of cardholders are familiar with this fee and majority of us likely pay this grudgingly year after year after year. In the case of my credit card with BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands), I’m ... Read more

Why Filipinos do not become business owners or entrepreneurs

For a majority of Filipinos, entrepreneurship does not seem to be a typical, expected path. This is not surprising, considering that in school, students are primarily taught to become employees after graduation. Students train for years to become staff workers, reporting to a supervisor, and just waiting to receive their wages or salaries every month. ... Read more

My experience investing in Mutual Funds in the Philippines

I started investing in mutual funds when I was 22 years old. As an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) then, I was fortunate to be able to save some money at that young age because of my work abroad. One time while I was on vacation in the Philippines, I saw a large billboard in EDSA ... Read more

Income Tax Tables in the Philippines (2022)

The Philippines’ new tax reform bill, known as TRAIN or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion, was signed into law on December 19, 2017 and its implementation began on January 1, 2018. What are the new income tax rates under the TRAIN law? How will TRAIN affect income taxes of individuals and corporations? How is the ... Read more

PSE Stocks Performance under each Philippine President (1987-2021)

Did you know that Philippine stocks were able to achieve an astounding growth of 800% in a span of 30 years? From 1987 until 2018, the Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi) rose from 1,000 points to a peak of 9,000 points — generating a return of 800% over 30 years. (The PSEi is an index ... Read more

SSL 2022: Salary Increases for Teachers, Nurses, Gov’t Employees

Good news to all government employees! There’s a new round of salary increases beginning January 1, 2022! Millions of employees of the Philippine government — including public school teachers, nurses and staff of government hospitals, and workers in local and national government agencies, etc. — will be getting an automatic salary adjustment this 2022 under ... Read more

PSE Trading Hours in 2022: What time open, when closed?

Before you take the plunge into stock trading and investing, make sure you understand what stocks are and how the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) operates. Unlike other investments that are relatively safe, stock trading is risky and loss of money is a possibility. So before you deep dive into the exciting world of stock trading, ... Read more

Price Floor and Price Ceiling of PSE Stocks

Trading bands in the PSE come in two forms: Price Ceiling, or the upper price limit, and Price Floor, or the lower price limit.

Leave a Comment