Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has called for resuming vigilance over inflation as the price increase rate eased to a three-month low in November.
The consumer price index – a broad basket of goods and services prices – rose 5.42 percent from the same month a year ago, a slower pace from 5.71 percent in October food and service prices increase eased, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) announced on Thursday.
That was also below the market consensus of 5.5 percent. Core consumer prices – which excludes volatile food and government-administered prices – rose by 3.30 percent last month.
On a monthly basis, consumer prices picked up 0.09 percent over the past month, rebounding from a 0.11 percent fall in October and beating expectations of a 0.16 percent increase.
Still, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo reminded the regional government to remain vigilant in reining in the inflation in their respective regions to shield Indonesia from the fallout of global economic uncertainty.
"I ask you, regional governments, governors, mayors, to pay attention to the inflation rate movements from time to time, hour to hour, in your respective regions. This is very important. [Inflation] has become the scourge of all countries," Jokowi said during an event with the regional government leaders on Thursday.
Spiking inflation in Southeast Asia's largest economy in the past few months has forced its central bank's hand to increase its benchmark interest rate, risking slowing down the country's post-pandemic recovery.
Jokowi said the global economic prospect has become more uncertain, so it was crucial to ensure Indonesia's economic fundamentals, including inflation, remain robust.
The regions today were still grappling with the impacts of the fuel price increase in September to rising logistics and transportation costs, Setianto, the deputy head of goods and services at BPS, said.
For example, Tanjung Selor, North Kalimantan's capital, saw the highest inflation rate in November among the 90 cities surveyed by the statistics agency. The city's inflation rate accelerated to 9.2 percent last month from 9.1 percent a month earlier.
Setianto said high airfare remained the culprit for the persistently high inflation in the city.
Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara, and Jember in East Java followed behind Tanjung Selor with high inflation rates of 6.89 percent and 7.42 percent, respectively.
On the bright side, price increases for several goods and services have eased in November. "Looking at all of the contributing components, volatile food prices contributed to November 2022 inflation slowing down," Setianto said.
Food inflation, which accounts for 27.6 percent of last month's inflation, has eased to a sixth-month low of 5.87 percent in November from 6.76 percent in October.
Similarly, prices rose at a slower pace for transport, housing, furnishings, and dining out. Prices of both education and clothing continued to accelerate.
Cost of information & financials was the only cost component dropping further in November, declining by 0.40 percent last month, compared to a 0.42 decline in November.