Consumer inflation stood at 2.5 percent in June 2020, up after four consecutive months of deceleration, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported.

The latest reading brought year-to-date inflation for 2020 at 2.5 percent. In May 2020, inflation stood at 2.1 percent and in June 2019, 2.7 percent.

The PSA said the uptrend in the June 2020 inflation was mainly brought about by the 2.3 percent hike in the transport index, specifically the tricycle fare index, from a 5.6 percent annual decrease in May 2020.

“Annual increases in the indices of alcoholic beverages and tobacco at 18.5 percent; and in housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels; and communication, both at 0.4 percent, also pushed up the June 2020 inflation,” the agency said.

Food inflation decelerated further to 2.7 percent in June 2020, from 2.9 percent in the previous month and 2.6 percent in June 2019.

The June 2020 headline inflation was within the 1.9 percent to 2.7 percent forecast range of the central bank.

In a statement, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said “the latest inflation outturn is consistent with the BSP’s prevailing assessment that inflation pressures remain limited due largely to the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the domestic and global economic conditions.”

It said average inflation rate could settle at 2.3 percent for the entire year as the domestic economic activity was expected to “contract further in the remaining quarters of 2020.”

The BSP said the global economy was projected to “further deteriorate with considerable uncertainty brought about by the magnitude and duration of containment measures across all economies.”

Economic recovery was not expected until next year, it said.

For 2021, the BSP is targeting inflation at 2.6 percent and for 2022, 3 percent. Jojo Mangahis (