April 29, 2019 / 4:44 AM / 25 days ago

Indonesia's inflation rate seen picking up pace in April: Reuters poll

FILE PHOTO: A vegetable seller sits while waiting for customers at the morning market in Jakarta, Indonesia, August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Beawiharta

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s annual inflation rate has likely picked up in April amid rising food prices ahead of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, according to a Reuters poll on Monday.

The April annual inflation rate is forecast by 13 analysts to accelerate to 2.69 percent on year, compared with March’s 2.48 percent, which remains near the lower end of Bank Indonesia’s (BI) 2.5-4.5 percent target range.

Food prices usually peak during Ramadan, which this year begins in early May, as Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, prepares for Eid al-Fitr celebration.

Josua Pardede, chief economist of Bank Permata, cited rising prices of garlic, chilli, chicken, shallot and egg as the main reason for the pick-up in April inflation, which will be detailed on Thursday.

Increasing airfares also contributed to consumer inflation, said Fakhrul Fulvian, chief economist of Trimegah Sekuritas.

Analysts’ expectation are below BI’s estimate of 2.74 percent.

BI Governor Perry Warjiyo told reporters on Friday that inflation will remain “low and under control” during the fasting month and will reach 3.1 percent at the end of 2019.

Polling by Tabita Diela; Editing by Gayatri Suroyo and Shreejay Sinha

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