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April 28, 2008

Inflation likely to accelerate in April as food prices rise

Indonesian inflation is expected to rise at a faster pace in April from a year ago, driven by higher food prices, economists said over the weekend.

Ten economists surveyed by Thomson Financial are expecting the consumer price index due for release next week to show a rise of 8.5 percent to 9.0 percent on the year, and to be up 0.2 percent to 0.5 percent from the previous month.

In March, inflation rose 8.17 percent from a year earlier and was up 0.95 percent versus February.

"Food prices will likely continue to be a source of inflationary pressure in April, as they are across the region," said David Cohen, chief economist at Action Economics.

The Central Bureau of Statistics is tentatively expected to announce CPI on May 2.

Economists are expecting raw food prices to continue to rise in April, although the increase may have slowed from March as the rice price stabilizes. The start of the crop harvest in March and April should have added more supply to the domestic market.

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