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Asia Minute: Philippine inflation pushed higher by tropical storms

Philippines inflation 111122
Aaron Favila/AP
A worker fills up a plastic container with gasoline at a gas station in Pasay, Philippines on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Inflation is hitting prices here in Hawaiʻi and around the world. In some places it's been complicated by other factors — and that's the case in the Philippines.

It's been nearly 14 years since inflation was running this high in the Philippines.

Back then, Barrack Obama was about to start a second term as U.S. president, and the world was facing a global financial crisis.

On Friday, the Philippine government reported October inflation at nearly 8%.

That's a gain of almost a full percentage point from September — and the federal government's chief statistician said a good portion of that comes from higher food costs — related in part to weather.

Super typhoon Noru slammed the Philippines in late September and the agricultural sector alone took a hit of more than $50 million.

Last weekend, another tropical storm hit the islands, leaving further agricultural damages in the tens of millions of dollars.

Government economists said thatʻs likely to continue to drive prices higher this month.

For the year, inflation is running well above the central bank’s target range — which points to a continuing increase in interest rates.

A statement from the Philippines central bank sees inflation risks continuing through next year — and bank officials have said they are likely to follow the U.S. Federal Reserve in moving rates higher — in part so that the Philippine peso does not lose further value against the dollar.

So far this year, it’s already down more than 13% against the U.S. currency.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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