PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS
THE year-on-year growth in wholesale prices of general goods slowed in April compared to the rate recorded in March, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said Wednesday.
The general wholesale price index (GWPI) rose 2.7% year on year in April, against the 2.8% pickup in March, according to preliminary data.
Driving the April outcome were moderating price increases in the following: food (1.9% in April from 2.4% in March); crude materials, inedible except fuels (42.9% from 44.4%); and manufactured goods classified chiefly by materials (0.7% from 0.8%).
The PSA noted faster price growth in mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (17.9% from 11.9%); chemicals including animal and vegetable oils and fats (5.4% from 5.2%); and machinery and transport equipment (0.6% from 0.5%).
Growth was steady for beverages and tobacco (7.4%) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (0.7%).
Wholesale prices in Luzon registered 2.8% growth in April, easing from 2.9% in March.
In the Visayas, wholesale prices grew 0.7%, reversing the 0.6% drop recorded the previous month.
In Mindanao, wholesale prices rose 4.6% in April from 4.5% previously.
In an e-mail, Security Bank Corp. Chief Economist Robert Dan J. Roces attributed the easing of wholesale prices to mobility restrictions caused by strict lockdowns imposed during the month.
Metro Manila and adjacent provinces were placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) between March 29 and April 11 after a surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. This was later relaxed to a lockdown setting of modified ECQ between April 12 and May 14.
“With the shift to looser community quarantines, expect the GWPI to trend higher in the months ahead,” he said.
The GWPI monitors wholesale trade sector and is among the indices used as a deflator in the PSA’s national accounts. — N. M. A. Bo