CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Feb. 22 (PIA) -- National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the economy's recovery depends on the successful roll out of COVID-19 vaccines.
NEDA OIC-Assistant Regional Director Divina Hope Vallejo pointed out that the economy's recession is brought by the closing of facilities and businesses due to the pandemic.
"Just like what happened to the whole country, and the whole world, the economy had a setback. In fact, we are poised to become a middle-income country. Our performance could have been progressed, if not for the pandemic. If the economy is opened, we will run again," she explained.
She said Central Luzon will easily jumpstart with the lined up major strategic infrastructure projects that will provide employment if the economy fully reopens.
The recorded average inflation of 3 percent in the pandemic year 2020 is "still a good thing" compared to the 2.9 percent in 2019.
"The increasing trend of inflation in the region is an indication of a declining economy. This is what we are guarding now. From 2.4% in October 2020, it jumped to 3.6% in November; 4.5% in December; and it reached 5.4% this January 2021," she disclosed.
Vallejo said the highest contributors to the increase of average inflation are the food and non-alcoholic beverages commodity group with an inflation rate of 10.5%.
"Our consumption of different things decreased because we were limited to go outside. But we have the need for food so the industry does not have any choice but to continue," she added.
Vallejo explained that the livestock inflation was triggered by the African Swine Fever and bird flu which hit the country pre-pandemic.
Lastly, other commodity groups which contributed to the average inflation rate include transport with an inflation rate of 5.9%; restaurants and miscellaneous goods and services with 3.3%; education with 2.1%; and communication with an inflation rate of 0.7%. (CLJD/JLDC-PIA 3)