Contrary to what most analysts expected, Indonesia experienced deflation of 0.35 percent in September 2013. The figure was released today (01/10) by Statistics Indonesia. Deflation was particularly triggered by easing food prices (including onions, peppers, beef, fresh fish and carrot) and lower tariffs for air and train transportation as well as inter-city transport fares. Previously, it was expected that Indonesia would record low inflation (less than 1 percent) in September. Year-on-year inflation eased to 8.40 percent (from 8.79 in August).
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Today's Headlines Inflation September 2013
Indonesia's central bank expects that the country's monthly inflation rate will ease to below one percent in August. However, in order to meet this expectation the bank stresses that there needs to be an improvement in the food product supply through imports and good distribution practice. The latter, particularly, is problematic due to Indonesia's lack of quality and quantity in infrastructure. In July, monthly inflation rose 3.29 percent due to the start of the new school year and impact of higher subsidized fuel prices.
Latest Columns Inflation September 2013
It seems clear now how market conditions will be until the end of the year. Two important foreign issues - the US Federal Reserve's tapering of quantitative easing (QE3) as well as the US debt ceiling issue which resulted in a shutdown as the Democrats and Republicans failed to come to an agreement on the country's federal budget - and various economic data from Indonesia (inflation and the trade balance) have provided some more insight into the matter. I will discuss each topic one by one below.
After three months of high monthly inflation rates, Indonesia's inflation eased in September due to falling prices of food, transportation, communications and financial services after the Muslim celebrations of Idul Fitri, which always cause a spike in inflation, have passed. In September 2013, Indonesia posted deflation of 0.35 percent. It was the first time in 12 years that the country posted deflation in this month. The annual inflation rate eased to 8.40 percent from 8.79 percent in August 2013.
Inflationary pressures eased in September 2013 to a 0.35% rate of deflation (mtm), or 8.40% (yoy). The rate of deflation exceeded the projections contained within the Price Monitoring Survey conducted by Bank Indonesia and much lower than inflation expectations by some analysts. Abundant supply in the wake of horticultural harvests (shallots and chilli peppers), triggered a deep correction in food prices. In addition, sliding beef prices also exacerbated further deflationary pressures, with volatile foods recording deflation of 3.38% (mtm).
On this week's second day of trading (01/10), the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (IHSG) was able to post a 0.69 percent rise to 4,345.90 points despite ongoing concerns about the economic shutdown in the United States as discussions have not led to agreement about the country's debt ceiling. However, various data from Asia made a good impact. Indonesia's trade surplus in August and deflation in September contributed to positive market sentiments and provided a boost for the rupiah.
Investors are eagerly waiting for the release of Indonesia's September inflation rate. Indonesia has been hit by high inflation since the government decided to increase prices of subsidized fuels at the end of June. High inflation limits its people's purchasing power and as domestic consumption accounts for about 55 percent of Indonesia's economic growth, it thus impacts negatively on GDP growth, particularly after Bank Indonesia raised its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) from 5.75 to 7.25 percent between June and September.
Indonesia's central bank, Bank Indonesia, expects deflation of about 0.9 percent in September 2013. Statistics Indonesia, on the other hand, believes there will be limited inflation this month. Both institutions agree, however, on a forecast of at least 9 percent of inflation over full-year 2013. The bank's September forecast is based on a survey that was conducted in the second week of September. This survey showed that food commodities and government administered prices eased.
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