How Bad Is Inflation Now? Throwback to 2008 When P58 Got You a Fried Chicken Meal

Inflation art
PHOTO BY Echo Antonio

(SPOT.ph) Inflation soared to 7.7% in October, the highest in 14 years, driven mainly by higher food prices, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Friday, November 4.

The last time inflation heated up to this level was in December 2008, during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. For young millennials and Gen Zs, this was during your basic education years as grade schoolers to high school students.

Technically, inflation or the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is measured year-on-year so October 2022 inflation measures the jump from the same month in 2021. Inflation in 2008 was measured against 2007. 

There are many other factors or outliers that cause inflation to spike such as powerful typhoons that disrupt rice stocks or the U.S.-China trade war that impacts electronics. Still, inflation or CPI is the most reliable measure of how much prices have gone up.

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We look back at what the prices of some goods and services were in 2008 and their prevailing prices today:

1 pc. Jollibee Chickenjoy Meal

chickenjoy

In 2008, a solo one-piece Chickenjoy with rice was priced at P58. Today, a quick look at GrabFood will show you that the same meal now costs P91.

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MRT-3 Ticket

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The minimum fare for an MRT trip was P10 back in 2008. Today, the minimum fare for an MRT ride is P13.

iPhone

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The iPhone, born in 2008, was first sold for $499 (roughly around P29,000 in the present conversion rate). Today, the latest iPhone model is sold at $899 (roughly around P52,761 in the present conversion rate).

Gasoline

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In December 2008, gasoline was priced at P31 per liter. Today, gasoline prices range from P62 to P71 per liter.

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How hot has inflation gotten?

Inflation from January to October averaged 5.4%, outside of the government's full-year target range of 2% to 4%.

Also read: I Gave Up Grab, Samgyup Dates to Survive Inflation

Food inflation alone accelerated to 9.8% in October from 7.7% in September with meat inflation, at 11.5%, "predominantly" influencing the rise in the October consumer price index, the PSA said.

Vegetables and crops reported the fastest price increases at 16%, the PSA added as strong typhoons usually hit the Philippines starting in September, destroying crops and homes.

Earlier this week, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas projected the gradual slowing of inflation in the succeeding months as inflationary pressures due to weather disturbances disappear.

Also read: How to Find a Side Hustle Online Because Inflation Chokes Your Budget

What inflation means for your money

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Faster inflation in October meant that household budgets got tighter as Filipinos grapple with higher prices of goods.

It's also a signal to rethink borrowing from banks. Yes, that includes swiping your credit card if you can't pay your dues in full.

The BSP had announced that it would raise the benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points or three-quarters of a percent later this month to tame inflation. The benchmark will climb to 5% from 4.24%,  BSP Governor Felipe Medalla told reporters.

The benchmark rate is used by banks in the Philippines to price interest rates on loans and credit cards. This means that borrowing money from banks will come with higher interest rates so it's best to prepare finances before taking out loans or swiping that credit card.

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