"The shallower contraction stemmed from a seasonal spike in demand during the Chinese New Year and national festive period, affecting most commodity groups, including automotive fuels, other household equipment, as well as spare parts and accessories," said BI Communication Department Head Erwin Haryono in a press release on Monday.
Furthermore, respondents predicted stronger retail sales performance to persist in March 2021, as the RSI moved into positive territory at 2.9% (mtm) in line with growing demand expected, accompanied by conducive weather conditions.
Retailers predicted sales performance of all commodity groups to improve, led by other goods, including clothing, as well as cultural and recreational goods, to improve, positively.
Annually, respondents predicted retail sales to improve from -18.1% (yoy) to -17.1% (yoy) in the reporting period, with broad gains across most commodity groups included in the survey, dominated by other goods, including clothing, automotive fuels as well as cultural and recreational goods.
In terms of prices, retailers predicted relatively stable inflationary pressures in the next three months (May 2021) and milder price pressures in the next six months (August 2021).
The 3-month Price Expectations Index (PEI) remained stable at a level of 156.4, supported by adequate supply and orderly distribution.
On the other hand, the 6-month PEI decreased to 141.7 from 153.5 on comparatively low demand after the recent festive period coupled with the smooth distribution of goods.