Indonesia did not meet its 2013 inflation target due to the impact of food price hikes.

According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), the country witnessed an inflation rate of 8.38 percent in 2013, 1.18 percent higher than the target set for the year. The higher fuel prices were the main contributor to the rate.

BPS deputy chief Sasmito Hadi Wibowo blamed Indonesian traders for high inflation in 2013. Traders gained from their speculative activities ahead of the oil fuel price hikes in mid 2013, Sasmito said.

Sasmito said that the Government should make sufficiently available food supply especially essential commodities such as petrol, oil, electricity and foodstuff early this year and ensure a necessary reserve in order to prevent the inflation rate from exceeding the 5.5 percent target set for 2014.

BPS chief Suryamin noted that although the country did not manage to meets its inflation target in 2013, the 8.38 percent rate is lower than the forecasted nine percent rate after the Indonesian Government increased the prices of subsidised petrol and gas.

The move proved the initial effectiveness of measures taken by the Indonesian Government and its central bank to deal with inflation, he said, adding that if the trend continues, the country’s goal to maintain its inflation rate at 5.5 percent is feasible.-VNA