November 30, 2018 / 5:28 AM / 10 days ago

Indonesia's November inflation seen easing slightly to 3.15 percent: Reuters poll

FILE PHOTO: A vegetable seller reaches for money from a customer at a market in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Beawiharta

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s annual inflation rate is expected to ease slightly in November and stay comfortably within the central bank’s target range, a Reuters poll showed on Friday.

Twelve analysts in a Reuters poll forecast annual inflation at 3.15 percent, easing slightly from 3.16 percent in October.

Inflationary pressures in November stemmed from an increase in food prices and house rent, but prices of other food such as chicken and sugar were declining, Maybank Indonesia’s chief economist Juniman said.

The central bank had targeted Indonesia’s inflation to be within the range of 2.5 percent to 4.5 percent by year-end.

The core inflation rate, which excludes government-controlled and volatile prices, is expected to accelerate slightly to 2.97 percent, compared with 2.94 percent in October.

Bank Indonesia (BI), the country’s central bank, raised interest rates for a sixth time since May on Nov. 15 to anticipate rising interest rates in developed economies, including the United States, and shore up the rupiah.

The rupiah IDR= hit its weakest in 20 years against the dollar in October, but the return of foreign inflows helped it gain over 5 percent in November. So far this year, the currency is still down around 5.5 percent, making it the third-worst performer among emerging Asian currencies, after Indian rupee and Chinese yuan.

BI had estimated that inflation rate at year-end will be 3.2 percent, within the target, partly due to its tightening cycle.

Polling by Fransiska Nangoy and Tabita Diela in JAKARTA and Khushboo Mittal in BENGALURU; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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