Indonesia: Growth in retail sales stays elevated in January
March 11, 2019
In January, retail sales grew 7.2% over the same month in the prior year, down slightly from December’s 7.7% figure but beating the Bank’s initial estimate of 4.8%. January’s uptick was driven by solid expansions in all subsectors except information and communication equipment, which has now contracted for nearly two years. January’s figure was likely buoyed by government fiscal support to working-class voters in the build-up to the April 2019 general elections.
Retail sales are likely to remain firm in the coming months thanks to ongoing public spending measures and mild inflation. Indeed, according to the Bank of Indonesia’s survey, retail sales should have grown 10.9% in February.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist