On 06 March 2023, Indonesia Investments released its latest monthly report titled 'Normalizing Economic Growth'. As usual, we aim to present in-depth analyses of topics that are relevant in the context of economic, political and social developments in Indonesia.
In this February 2023 report we discuss a number of topics. Firstly, Indonesia's Statistical Agency (BPS) released the Q4-2022 and full-year 2022 gross domestic product (GDP) data of Indonesia. What becomes clear from these data is that -after the unprecedented drop in economic activity amid the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent impressive rebound in 2021- economic growth is now normalizing as the low and high bases are filtered out.
Regarding the economy of Indonesia, a couple of matters stand out: (1) despite the strong rebound in tourism, it will likely require years for the tourism industry to recover to normal conditions, (2) based on retail sales, household consumption is still not back to normal levels, and (3) the trade performance -albeit still at impressive levels- is showing a loss of momentum.
Secondly, we zoom in on Indonesia's National Healthcare Program (in Indonesian: Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional, or JKN). This program has been plagued by heavy financial pressures, even up to the point where people said the program is unsustainable. This would be a disaster because for social and economic development of Indonesia it is crucial that people can be treated (having access to professional and affordable medical services) when they have a certain medical condition. Fortunately, we have seen a major improvement in the balance sheet of the JKN program in recent years.
Thirdly, we discuss the recent initial public offering (IPO) of Pertamina Geothermal Energy on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. This also provides us with an opportunity to discuss the potential of geothermal power development in Indonesia amid the country's energy transition.
We also zoom in on a soon-to-be-imposed presidential regulation that requires the big tech platforms (such as Google and Facebook) to pay royalties to traditional media institutions when the former uses links to articles of the latter. The regulation also -seemingly- gives power to the Press Council (Dewan Pers) to monitor news or information on tech platforms. Although it remains unclear at this moment how this will affect the flow of information in society, we know from developments in the West that censorship has risen rapidly in recent years; and not always to silence hoaxes, but also to silence founded criticism on government policies (or hide data, facts, and other information that would undermine people confidence in the policies imposed by governments).
Other topics in this report include monetary policy, the rupiah exchange rate, manufacturing, inflation and trade.
The February 2023 report (an electronic report) can be ordered by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or a message to +62.882.9875.1125 (including WhatsApp).
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