Indonesia: Retail sales surge in March
May 5, 2019
In March, retail sales soared 10.1% over the same month in the prior year, up from February’s 9.1% figure and above the Bank’s initial estimate of 8.0%. March’s figure was driven by healthy expansions in all subsectors except information and communication equipment. In recent months, retail sales have been buoyed by government fiscal support to working-class voters in the build-up to the April 2019 general elections, and muted price pressures supporting consumers’ purchasing power.
With the elections out of the way, retail sales growth is likely to dip somewhat in the coming months—barring a likely spike in May related to the Eid al-Fitr celebrations—but should stay solid, underpinned by a strong labor market and mild inflation. According to the Bank of Indonesia’s survey, retail sales should have grown 5.7% in April.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist