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Marcos was referring to full-year figure when he 'disagreed' with 6.1% June inflation —Diokno

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Wednesday clarified President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s remark expressing disagreement with the 6.1% June inflation rate reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

“[T]he President’s disbelief at the 6.1% June 2022 inflation rate figure was misunderstood,” Diokno said at a Palace briefing.

Marcos, in his first press briefing as president on Tuesday, said that he “will have to disagree with” the 6.1% June inflation print, saying “we are not that high.” 

Following Marcos’ remark, Philippine Statistics Authority chief Claire Dennis Mapa said the agency is standing by its report.

But according to Diokno, Marcos "was referring to it as a full-year figure when in fact the year-to-date, meaning January to June, average inflation rate is actually 4.4%. So that was what he has in mind."

Marcos said the country's inflation may cross the government target or threshold of 4% or less.

The then-Duterte administration’s Development Budget Coordination Committee set the full-year inflation ceiling at 3.7% to 4.7% range.

Diokno said the year-to-date inflation rate is still within the previous administration's ceiling.

“The President was correct in saying that the current high inflation experience is global,” he said, noting that Indonesia’s June inflation climbed to 4.4% from 3.6% in May and Thailand’s inflation print last month rose to 7.7% from 7.1%.

Diokno said that the Eurozone’s inflation in June also stood at 8.6%, the highest in 11 years while the United States posted a 40-year high inflation of 8.6% last month.

“Rest assured the recent acceleration of inflation will be arrested by the government through addressing constraints in the food, energy, transportation, and logistics sectors,” he said.

The Finance chief said the government expects inflation to remain elevated and that average inflation this year is seen to settle "within the neighborhood of 5%."

Nonetheless, Diokno said inflation is seen to go down to 4.2% and 3.3% for 2023 and 2024, respectively. —KBK, GMA News