Bank Indonesia reported, the Real Sales Index for June 2020 contracted 17.1 percent on an annual basis, improving from a contraction of 20.6 percent in May 2020 - Photo: Privacy

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Bank Indonesia (BI) reported retail sales index dropped sharply by -4.5 percent in March from previous month contracted 0.8 percent. The drop was the deepest contraction since August 2011.

The central bank survey predicted sales in April to contract further, estimating an 11.8 percent fall compared to same month in 2019. The decline stemmed from contraction in sales in almost all commodity groups, except for the food, beverage and tobacco group which remained solid. The deepest decline in retail sales occurred in the Other goods, specifically the clothing.

For April, the Bank said, steepest decline occurred in the other goods category, specifically the clothing, which is forecast to fall by -67.3 percent year on year (YoY), deeper than -60.5 percent (YoY) in March 2020. The survey results indicate price pressures at the retail level will experience a decline in the next three and six months (June and September 2020).

The decline in price pressures is reflected in the 3-and 6-month General Price Expectation Index  in the coming months (June and September 2020) of 160.7 and 153.0, lower than 173.0 in May 2020 and 153.7 in August 2020 is in line with the forecasted decline in demand.

According to Nielsen, consumers across Asia have signaled their eating habits may change permanently once the world moves beyond the impact of the COVID-19. Only Japanese consumers say they are less likely to change their eating habits as a result of the global pandemic.

The first in a wave of Nielsen explorations underway across 74 markets, indicates that consumers in Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam will rethink and re-prioritize the place eating at home has in their lives. In Chinese mainland, 86 percent said they would eat at home more often than before the outbreak.

In other markets, a similar trend was observed with 77 percent of consumers in Hong Kong planning to eat at home more often than before the event, and in South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam, that number was 62 percent, respectively. Further, the study found a high demand for more takeaway food and home deliveries of food, particularly in Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand.

These markets epitomize “on-the-go” lifestyles and value the convenience on-the-go food offerings bring. The implications this will have on restaurants and other out-of-home businesses are clear, but the findings will also affect the way retailers stock their stores to meet these emerging new levels of demand.

Managing director Southeast Asia, Nielsen, Vaugan Ryan noted that the trend appeared to be playing out differently across the region but that these behaviors were quickly becoming the new norm.

“The initial assumption was that consumers were panic buying, but we have seen this behavior now in markets for more than two months. If we think about Singapore as a country that already embraces home delivery of meals and Japan as one that has been less inclined, we’re seeing many more countries move closer to Singaporean habits than before,” he concluded.

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