Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The fluctuation of fuel prices can have impact on the inflation rate in April 2015, said Distribution Statistics Deputy of the Central Board of Statistics (BPS) Sasmito Hadi Wibowo.

"Fuel price increases will be balanced with the decline in the rice price but the inflation rate will be higher than in March," Wibowo stated here on Wednesday.

The fuel price increase in late March will affect the prices of several commodities, including public transportation fares, yet the rice harvest time that begins this month will slightly offset inflation.

The government on Saturday raised the price of premium gasoline for regions outside Java, Madura and Bali from Rp6,600 per liter to Rp6,800 per liter effective March 1.

In addition, the price of premium gasoline for regions within Java, Madura and Bali was also raised by Rp200 per liter from Rp6,700 to Rp6,900 per liter starting March 28.

Wibowo hoped that the price of ornaments such as gold ornaments which declined in March would remain stable and would not fluctuate.

"The price of gold which is declining is expected to remain stable, not to increase. Prices indeed are uncertain but we will be accustomed to it and take into account into the uncertainties. Hopefully, the inflation this month still could be offset to below 0.5 percent," he added.

The BPS recorded that in March 2015 the inflation was noted at 0.17 percent after food commodity prices declined, including the price of fuels which happened to cause deflation in January and February.

In the meantime, the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) stated last month that the 0.36-percent deflation recorded in February 2015 was the second-highest for the same month in the past 50 years.

The highest deflation was recorded at 0.5 percent in February 1985, BPS Deputy Chief for Distribution and Service Statistics Sasmito Hadi Wibowo noted.

He pointed out that deflation rarely occurs in February, adding that the country saw deflation in the same month only five times in the past five decades.

"From 1966 to 2015, or in the past 50 years, we have recorded deflation only four or five times (in February). That is very rare," he explained.

Earlier in the day, the BPS stated that the 0.36-percent deflation in February 2015 was fueled by a decline in the prices of food and fuel oils.

Deflation over the past couple of months added up to 0.61 percent in February 2015; the country had recorded 0.24 percent deflation in January 2015.

"This was rare as the country usually recorded inflation in January and February," he observed.

Among the commodities that triggered the deflation were red chili, gasoline, birds eye chili, intercity public transport tariff, purebred chicken, egg, cement, diesel, tomato, green chili, and onion, he revealed.

"The price of red chili fell due to abundant supplies and smooth distribution, while the price of gasoline declined due to a fall in the global oil prices and the governments fuel policy," he remarked.

However, an increase in electricity tariffs, flight tickets, house rents, gold jewelry, filtered clove cigarettes, cars, and construction workers wages had contributed to the inflation, he noted.

Editor: Ade P Marboen
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