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PHL wholesale prices up 9.0% in July, from 2.7% a year earlier
Wholesale prices of commodities in the country grew by 9.0 percent in July, data released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Tuesday showed.
The general wholesale price index (GWPI) at 9.0 percent is slower than 9.8 percent in June, but over three times faster than 2.7 percent in July 2017.
The fastest growth in wholesale prices was recorded in mineral fuels at 41.2 percent, while the beverages and tobacco index was up 13.8 percent.
Increases were also recorded in wholesale prices of food (3.5 percent), manufactured goods (2.9 percent), miscellaneous articles (1.4 percent), and machinery (1.1 percent).
On the other hand, a 20.8-percent drop was recorded in wholesale prices of crude materials during the month.
In terms of consumer prices, the PSA earlier reported an inflation rate of 5.7 percent in July, the fastest in at least five years.
Wholesale prices will continue to rise in the coming months, if the government failed to step in, according to the Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association (PAGASA).
“Given current constraints, wholesale prices are expected to increase,” Steven Cua, PAGASA’s president, told GMA News Online.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) must convince manufacturers to suspend any price adjustments until the end of the year, while the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) must step in to strengthen the peso, he said.
“BSP ‘intervenes’ to allow the peso-dollar exchange rate to float sideways (better if downwards) to avoid increases in the cost of raw materials of finished goods/FMCGs (fast-moving consumer goods),” Cua noted in a text message.
Manufacturers also need to plan their output efficiently in the run-up to the holiday Christmas and New Year holidays.
“Manufacturers plan their production efficiently (meaning they take the aggressive view) leading to ample supply of seasonal goods as demand for the Yuletide ... increases,” he said.
Wholesalers have no need to increase prices if manufacturers do not increase theirs, unless the cost of operations move up (like an increase in minimum wages, port and unusual traffic congestions, huge increases in power rates, bank rates, etc.),” Cua added.
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