ASEAN economies face divided inflation concerns
JAKARTA, 27 November 2013 - Inflation rates in most ASEAN Member States (AMSs), except for Indonesia and Myanmar, eased in December 2012 from the levels posted in last year. The CLMV countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam) have dramatically lowered their inflation rates three-fold as in the case of Viet Nam and more than half as in the case of Cambodia and Lao PDR. Meantime, the ASEAN6 (Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand) maintained low inflation rates, topped by Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia, at close to 1.0 percent. Philippines and Singapore showed favorable recovery as inflation slipped from 4.2 and 5.5 to 3.0 and 4.3, respectively. Thailand, with the most subdued inflation, posted 3.6 during the period.
Inflation rates higher in 2013, still in line with target
In 2013, some ASEAN economies recorded increase in inflation levels from the previous year, where annual rates ranged from 1.4 to 8.4 percent. In September 2013, the lowest inflation rates were observed in Thailand and Singapore (1.4 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively), while the highest was posted by Indonesia, at 8.4 percent. Meantime, month-on-month inflation rates showed that Singapore’s inflation dipped in April while Indonesia’s rate has peaked in July.
Source of data: Submissions from AMSs, as of 8 November 2013
Communication and Transport levels remained low
Inflation rates by category differ among Member States. In most cases, communication was recorded with the lowest inflation rate in Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Viet Nam. Meanwhile, upward pressure on food and non-alcoholic beverages reached double-digit in Indonesia and Lao PDR. Myanmar has managed to temper increase in housing, water, electricity and other fuels in 2012 although this category has highest inflation rate in this country.
More detailed information and figures on this topic are presented in a snapshot publication available here.