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Wholesale prices rise 8.2% in September

Wholesale prices of goods continued to rise in September. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ WALTER BOLLOZOS

WHOLESALE PRICES of general goods picked up in September, reflecting possible second-round effects from inflation, and the peso depreciation against the US dollar.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed the general wholesale price index (GWPI) jumped 8.2% year on year, faster than the 7.6% growth in August and 3.3% growth in September 2021.

The growth in September was the fastest in three months or since the 9% expansion in June.

“The increase was primarily brought about by the higher annual uptick in the index for chemicals including animal and vegetable oils and fats at 5.1%, from 2.7% in August 2022,” the PSA said.

The GWPI tracks the wholesale trade sector and serves as a benchmark for price adjustments in business contracts and project costing.

Year to date, the GWPI averaged 7.4%.

Four of the eight commodity categories reported faster year-on-year price growth in September.

The food index rose by 12.9% in September, faster than the 12.4% in August. Prices of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials surged by 38.9% in September, from 38.5% in the previous month.

In September, prices of manufactured goods and miscellaneous manufactured articles jumped 4.3% (from 3.9% in August) and 3.3% (from 2.8%), respectively.

On the other hand, the annual drop in crude materials, inedible except fuels slowed to -4.8% in September from -5.8% in the previous month.

“Annual increases eased in the indices for beverages and tobacco and machinery and transport equipment at 8.4% and 1.1%, respectively,” the PSA said.   

Wholesale price inflation in Luzon outpaced the national average with a reading of 8.5% in September, against an 8% print in August and the year-earlier 3.4%.

The GWPI growth in the Visayas accelerated to 6.9% in September, from 6.2% in the previous month and 0.4% in the same month in 2021.

In Mindanao, the GWPI slowed to 4% in September, from 4.3% in August and 4.9% a year ago.

Sought for comment, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message that the increase in wholesale prices reflected second-round effects from elevated inflation.

“The results of the report could be due to second-round inflation effects after higher minimum wages and higher transport fares from June to July 2022 that also led to higher prices of other goods and service; as well as the weaker peso exchange rate back then that added to prices of imports and overall inflation,” Mr. Ricafort said. 

The country’s headline inflation rate accelerated to 6.9% in September from 6.3% in August and 4.2% in September 2021, amid rising food costs.

Mr. Ricafort said that wholesale prices could ease in the coming months as global crude oil prices have declined.

“For the coming months, wholesale prices could ease after the decline in global crude oil prices to new 11-month lows and also lower prices of other global commodities on concerns over a possible recession in the United States, which is the world’s biggest economy, and the continued lockdowns in China, which is the world’s second-biggest economy and the world’s biggest importer of oil and other major global commodities,” Mr. Ricafort said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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