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Jakarta Post

Inflation benign in May as prices contained during Ramadan

  • Marchio Irfan Gorbiano

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, June 10, 2019   /   02:53 pm
Inflation benign in May as prices contained during Ramadan Statistics Indonesia (BPS) head Suhariyanto (left) speaks to the press in Jakarta (file photo). (JP/Prima Wirayani)

Indonesia booked month-to-month (mtm) inflation of 0.68 percent in May, higher than the 0.44 percent registered in April, as an uptick in demand during the fasting month fueled food prices, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced on Monday.

Consumer spending usually increases in Ramadan, which began on May 5 this year, leading to above-average monthly inflation.

The latest inflation data brought year-to-date (ytd) inflation to 1.48 percent, while year-on-year (yoy) inflation stood at 3.32 percent.

May’s yoy inflation was slightly higher than in the same period of 2018, when it was 3.23 percent, but much lower than the 4.33 percent seen in May 2017.

BPS head Suhariyanto said in Jakarta on Monday that inflation remain largely under control. The government has a target range of 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent for annual inflation.

Foodstuff prices rose by 2.02 percent mtm as red chili, chicken, fish and eggs, among other products, became more expensive last month. Meanwhile, the recent shallot harvest brought down prices of the commodity in May, while rice prices also dropped.

The second-highest contributor to May’s mtm inflation was the category of processed food, beverages, cigarettes and tobacco with 0.56 percent mtm inflation.

Meanwhile, persistently high airfares had minimal impact on inflation in May, Suhariyanto said, as ticket prices had already been on the rise since January.

The category of transportation, communication and financial services recorded 0.54 percent mtm inflation last month, primarily driven by higher prices of intercity transportation, air travel and train tickets.

“The mtm [inflation on airline tickets] was not large, because prices had already increased [in previous months], although the government had already lowered the price ceiling for airlines,” said Suhariyanto. “That being said, the price increase in airline tickets contributed 0.3 percent to the 3.32 percent yoy inflation [in May].” (dmr)