Inflation is expected to remain elevated in East Asian economies like the Philippines, Singapore, and Indonesia, even with average inflation in the region likely to continue easing, according to the United Nations.

'While the region's average inflation is expected to ease to 2.2 percent in 2023 from 2.8 percent in 2022, it is predicted to remain elevated in Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, among others,' the UN said in the mid-year update of its World Economic Situation and Prospects report.

Inflation in the Philippines eased to 6.6 percent in April from 7.6 percent in March due to the slower increases in food, transport and utility prices.

The April result marked the third straight month that inflation eased in the country after the 8.7 percent peak last January.

Earlier, National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the downward trend in inflation is expected to continue as inflation eventually eases towards the government's target range by the fourth quarter.

He said inflation, however, remains a challenge that may affect the country's growth.

He said uncontrolled commodity price increases hinder economic progress, human development and poverty reduction.

'Domestic issues, constraints in local food production and importation policies, the spread of animal diseases, climate-related challenges, higher energy costs, and supply chain disruptions contribute to inflationary pressures,' he said.

The UN said policy rate hikes to curb inflationary pressures and maintain fiscal stability have led to weaker demand in many East Asian economies.

While it expects recovery in East Asia's developing economies to continue this year, it will likely lose steam due to global monetary tightening and weakening external demand.

The UN said it expects East Asia's growth to moderately improve to 4.7 percent this year from 3.2 percent last year.

This forecast is higher than the 4.4 percent growth forecast for East Asia that the UN provided in the World Economic Situation and Prospects report released earlier this year.

'The improvement mainly reflects China's recovery,' the UN said, citing the improvement in consumer spending and fixed asset investments following the lifting of pandemic-related restrictions late last year.


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