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NCR retail price growth steady in April 

RETAIL PRICE growth of general goods in the National Capital Region (NCR) was flat in April and remained at the weakest level in over two years, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

According to preliminary data from the PSA, price growth in the NCR, as measured by the general retail price index (GRPI), remained at 2.1% year on year in April.

This was significantly lower compared with the year-earlier 5.4%.

The April reading remained the weakest since the 1.9% posted in January 2022.

In the four months to April, the GRPI in Metro Manila averaged 2.1%, against the 6.1% posted in the first four months of 2023.

Price growth decelerated in the heavily-weighted food index (2.6% in April from 2.7% in March), the crude materials, inedible except fuels (0.8% from 1%) category, the beverages and tobacco (3.7% from 4.3%) category, and the machinery and transport equipment category (0.6% from 0.7%).

On the other hand, the PSA noted that “faster annual increments” in the remaining four commodity groups compared with the previous month.

The index for mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials grew 5% in April from 2.5% in March. Chemicals, including animal and vegetable oils and fats followed with 2.5% from 2.4% a month earlier.

Faster annual increases were also seen in manufactured goods classified chiefly by materials (1.4% in April from 1.2% in March) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (1.2% from 1.1%).

According to the PSA, the GRPI is used to monitor the condition of retail trade. It is also used as a deflator in the National Accounts, particularly in the retail trade sector, and serves as a basis for forecasting. — Abigail Marie Pelea Yraola