The World Bank has revised down its forecast for economic growth in Indonesia in 2013 to 5.9 percent from its original estimate of 6.2 percent. Similarly, the institution has altered its forecast for economic growth in 2014 from 6.5 percent to 6.2 percent. The revised figures were published in July's edition of the Indonesia Economic Quarterly (IEQ), titled 'Adjusting to Pressures'. The World Bank's forecast is also in sharp contrast with the GDP assumption of the Indonesian government, which puts economic growth in 2013 at 6.3 percent.
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Columns of Maesaroh Jamzuri
It is official. As of Saturday 22 June 2013, after months of uncertainty and speculation, the price of Indonesia's subsidized fuel has finally been raised. Starting from 0.00 am (midnight) on Saturday, all Indonesians have to pay a higher price of gasoline and diesel. Gasoline has been raised by 44 percent to IDR 6,500 (USD $0.66) and diesel by 22 percent to IDR 5,500 (USD $0.56) per liter. The minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Jero Wacik, made the announcement on late Friday evening, after which the hike took effect immediately.
Data released by a department of Indonesia's Ministry of Finance showed that the country's budget deficit amounted to IDR 25.9 trillion (USD $2.64 billion) on 31 May 2013. This figure is equivalent to 16.9 percent of the target that is set in the 2013 State Budget (IDR 153.3 trillion). The IDR 25.9 trillion deficit translates to 0.27 percent of Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP). The maximum amount of deficit - as stipulated by the State Budget Law of 2013 - that is allowed to be maintained is equivalent to 1.65 percent of GDP.
The slowing pace of investments has made the Indonesian government decide to revise down its forecast for economic growth in the second quarter of 2013. Minister of Finance, M. Chatib Basri, believes that GDP growth will not exceed the six percent threshold in Q2-2013. He explained that there are a number of factors that refrain the government from setting a higher growth assumption. These factors include ailing exports, non-optimal government spending, and diminishing gross fixed capital investment.
The government of Indonesia plans to issue global sukuk (the Islamic equivalent of bonds) and retail bonds (Obligasi Ritel Indonesia, abbreviated ORI) in October 2013. Proceeds from the bond issuances will be used to finance the budget deficit, which is targeted at 2.48 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the 2013 Revised State Budget (APBN-P). This percentage figure is equivalent to IDR 233.7 trillion (USD $23.82 billion), and represents a robust increase compared to the deficit in 2012 (at 1.77 percent of GDP).