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Wholesale price growth in PHL picks up in April

WHOLESALE price growth of general goods accelerated to a two-month high in April, driven by an uptick in prices of chemicals, including animal and vegetable oils and fats, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said on Wednesday.

According to preliminary data, the PSA said the general wholesale price index (GWPI) rose 2.6% year on year in April, against the 2.5% growth posted in March and the 4.3% a year earlier.

The April reading was the highest since the 2.8% growth recorded in February 2024.

The acceleration in prices was attributed to stronger price growth in chemicals including animal and vegetable oils and fats index at 2.3% in April from 1.3% in March.

Faster annual increases were also seen in the indices of crude materials, inedible except fuels (8.4% from 4.4%); mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials (4.8% from 2.7%); manufactured goods classified chiefly by materials (1.6% from 1.3%) and machinery and transport equipment (0.5% from 0.4%).

However, price growth in the following commodity groups decelerated: food (3.6% from 4%); beverages and tobacco (4.4% from 4.6%) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (2% from 2.2%).

By island group, the Visayas outpaced the national GWPI with a 6.7% reading in April, which accelerated from 6.0% in March and 3.6% in April 2023.

“The faster annual increase of chemicals including animal and vegetable oils and fats at 0.6% in April 2024 from an annual decline of 3.2% in the previous month primarily caused the higher annual growth rate of GWPI in Visayas,” PSA said.

GWPI in Mindanao decelerated to 1.1% from March’s 1.9% and April 2023’s 5.9%. — Lourdes O. Pilar