Inflation rate in the ASEAN countries 2018

Inflation rates in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ranged from 5.21 percent inflation in the Philippines to 0.15 percent deflation in Brunei. While countries like Vietnam are likely benefitting from more stable inflation than earlier seen, only a few countries are in the 2 to 5 percent range that many economists view as optimal for emerging economies.

Effects of high inflation

High inflation is generally detrimental to the economy. Prices tend to rise faster than wages, meaning that people and firms have less purchasing power. This in turn leads to slower growth in the gross domestic product (GDP). It also leads to a weaker currency. For countries with a positive trade balance this can be beneficial, because exports are relatively cheaper to foreign buyers. Through the same mechanism, net importers suffer from a weaker currency. Additionally, inflation makes a country’s national debt less expensive if the debt is denominated in the local currency. However, most of this debt is in U.S. dollars, so inflation makes the debt more difficult to service and repay.

Risks of deflation

With deflation, consumers and firms delay investments because they expect prices to be lower in the future. This slows consumption and investment, two major components of GDP growth. The most common example of this is Japan, where the GDP growth rate has been low for a long time due, in large part, to deflation. For this reason, countries like Brunei would rather see low and stable inflation than slight deflation.

ASEAN countries: Inflation rate from 2008 to 2018

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Release date

October 2019


Brunei, Myanmar [Burma], Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand

Survey time period

2008 to 2017*

Supplementary notes

*Figures after 2017 are estimates.

Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Thailand"

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