Indonesia’s inflation rate in December 2014 jumped to 8.36 percent year-on-year from 6.23 percent in November and its trade balance swung to a deficit after the country hiked fuel prices by 30 percent, according to the Statistics Indonesia (BPS).

AFP quoted BPS as saying that transportation cost adjustments in December that pushed up food prices during the holiday season were the main reason for the higher-than-expected inflation.

The country suffered a trade deficit of 425.7 million USD in November 2014 after enjoying a small surplus of 20 million USD in the previous month.

According to David Sumual, chief economist at Indonesia 's Bank Central Asia, these data are surprising. Tthe inflation is much higher than expectation, while the trade deficit is bigger than estimate.

In addition, manufacturing activities dwindled in December 2014 as HSBC said its Purchasing Managers' Index for Indonesia fell to a record low of 47.6 points .

However, economists spoke highly of the Indonesian Government’s move to scrap the gasoline subsidy and fix the subsidy for diesel fuel for 2015.-VNA