Indonesia's government debt reached IDR 3,938.7 trillion (approx. USD $294 billion) at the end of 2017, up IDR 423.3 trillion from its position of IDR 3,515.4 trillion at the end of 2016. Despite rising, Indonesia's public debt is still safe at 29.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).
This figure makes Indonesia one of the world's healthiest economies in terms of debt-to-GDP (Indonesian law caps the ratio at 60 percent of GDP). Many emerging peers as well as advanced nations - for example the United States and Japan - have much higher debt-to-GDP ratios.
The table below does show that there is a rising trend visible in Indonesia's debt-to-GDP ratio over the past couple of years. This triggers some concern although it should also be noted that part of public debt is used for "productive" investment purposes (hence inciting future revenue streams) - rather than for consumption (for example to finance energy subsidies) - and therefore safe.
Indonesia's Debt-to-GDP Ratio 2014-2017:
Source: Bisnis Indonesia
Most of Indonesia's public external debt stems from rupiah-denominated tradable Government Securities (in Indonesian: Surat Berharga Negara, or SBN). Last year, 81.1 percent of total public debt originated from these SBNs, mostly involving government bonds (Surat Utang Negara, or SUN). However, around 40 percent of these SUNs are in the hands of foreign investors and therefore is vulnerable to sudden capital outflows in times of economic turmoil.
Meanwhile, 18.9 percent of total public debt in Indonesia involve foreign loans (IDR 738.4 trillion) and domestic loans (IDR 5.5 trillion).