Headline inflation is likely to ease further in the coming months with food inflation expected to go down and no sharp increases anticipated in prices of non-food items, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

'Overall inflation, yes, I would expect so,' NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters on the sidelines of the Development Academy of the Philippines' stakeholders appreciation dinner when asked if the downtrend seen in June is expected to continue.

Last Friday, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported that headline inflation - the rate of increase in prices of goods and services being purchased by households - eased to 3.7 percent in June from the previous month's 3.9 percent due to slower increases in utility and transport costs.

In particular, the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels commodity group posted a slower increment of 0.1 percent in June from 0.9 percent in May.

The transport commodity group also registered a slower increase of 3.1 percent in June from 3.5 percent in the previous month.

While overall inflation slowed, food inflation rose to 6.5 percent in June from 6.1 percent in May driven by faster upticks in vegetable and meat prices.

Inflation for rice, the country's staple food, slowed but was still elevated at 22.5 percent in June from the previous month's 23 percent.

'We expect [food inflation] in the coming months to come down maybe, because the El Niño is over,' he said.

He said the government is also hoping that the La Niña will not bring severe flooding.

'I think that prices will start to moderate,' he said, adding that this would allow the country to achieve the two to four percent inflation target.

As for non-food items, he said price movements in the last month were favorable.

'Hopefully, we can manage that, there will be no quite sharp, no unforeseen price increases coming from the utilities,' he said.

He also said the recently approved P35 increase in the daily minimum wage in the National Capital Region has been factored in the inflation expectation.

'The wage increases are not unreasonable. They're within the inflation experienced by our workers, so that's okay,' he said.

Inflation in the January to June period averaged 3.5 percent, within the two to four percent target of the year.

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