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Today's Headlines Inflation

  • Inflation in Indonesia Slowly Rising Ahead of Ramadan Month

    One month ahead of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, food prices in Indonesia have already began to rise. It is a traditional phenomenon that ahead of the Ramadan (and during this month as well as the subsequent Idul Fitri celebrations) inflation peaks as Indonesians spend more money on food products (for dinner parties in the evening after the daily fasting has ended) and other consumer products such as clothes and shoes. However, some concerns have arisen as a presidential regulation on price controls is yet to come out.

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  • Indonesia Rice Update: Joko Widodo Forced to Allow Rice Imports?

    In order to avert a spike in inflation and social unrest, Indonesian President Joko Widodo may feel forced to allow around 1.5 million metric tons of rice imports in 2015 as domestic prices of rice have been rising on sluggish local harvests. Moreover, an intensifying El Nino is expected to cause dry weather in the months ahead hence further jeopardizing rice productivity. These already tough conditions will be exacerbated by seasonal Islamic celebrations (Ramadan and Idul Fitri) that always trigger increased consumption of food products.

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  • Bank Indonesia Leaves Tight Monetary Policy, Interest Rates Unchanged

    Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) showed that it is committed to its relatively tight monetary stance as it left interest rates unchanged at its May Board of Governor’s Meeting. Despite pressures from the government and business players to cut interest rates (which would boost economic growth), Bank Indonesia maintained its key BI rate at 7.50 percent, the overnight deposit facility at 5.50 percent and the lending facility rate at 8.00 percent. In the first quarter of 2015 Indonesia’s economic growth had slowed to a disappointing 4.71 percent (y/y).

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  • Dilemma Bank Indonesia: To Cut Interest Rates or Not?

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) is currently dealing with a dilemma. On the one hand, its relatively high interest rate environment (with the benchmark BI rate at 7.50 percent) is partly responsible for the country’s slowing economic growth as credit expansion is curtailed and economic activity declines. On the other hand, Bank Indonesia’s high BI rate is needed to safeguard Indonesia’s financial stability as inflation is still above the central bank’s target, the current account deficit nearly unsustainable, and capital outflows loom.

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  • Indonesia Investments' Newsletter of 10 May 2015 Released

    On 10 May 2015, Indonesia Investments released the latest edition of its newsletter. This free newsletter, which is sent to our subscribers once per week, contains the most important news stories from Indonesia that have been reported on our website in the last seven days. Most of the topics involve economic matters such as updates on Indonesia’s Q1-2015 economic growth, April inflation, domestic manufacturing activity, the new palm oil export levy, car sales, unemployment, the mobile phone industry, and more.

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  • What is Next for the Indonesian Economy in 2015?

    After seeing the disappointing GDP growth figure of 4.71 percent (y/y) in the first quarter of 2015, investors have become concerned about Indonesia’s economic growth in the remainder of the year. The poor Q1-2015 GDP growth was caused by the country’s weak export performance (due to the sluggish global economy and low commodity prices), Indonesia’s high interest rate environment (curbing people’s purchasing power and business expansion of local companies), and sluggish government spending.

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  • Car Sales Indonesia 2015: Declining amid Slowing Economic Growth

    The Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers Association (Gaikindo) lowered its car sales target for 2015 to 1.1 million vehicles, down from its original sales target of 1.2 million vehicles, due to persistent slowing economic growth in Indonesia (curbing consumer demand). On Tuesday (05/05), Statistics Indonesia announced that the country’s economic growth slowed to 4.71 percent (y/y) in the first quarter of 2015, a five-year low. Other important factors that negatively influence car sales are inflation, the interest rate, the rupiah, and fuel prices.

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  • Interest Rate Environment Left Unchanged By Bank Indonesia

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) decided to maintain its key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent at Tuesday’s Board of Governors’ Meeting (14 April 2015). The institution also left its deposit facility and lending facility at 5.50 percent and 8.00 percent, respectively. Bank Indonesia considers this level to be effective in order to push the country’s inflation rate back into its target range of 3-5 percent (y/y) in both 2015 and 2016. It is also convinced that this interest rate environment will improve the current account balance.

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  • World Bank Cuts 2015 Economic Growth Forecast Indonesia

    In the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Economic Update, released on Monday (13/04), the Washington-based institution revised down its economic growth forecast for Indonesia to 5.2 percent (y/y) in 2015, down from 5.6 percent in its October 2014 Update. Main reasons for this downgrade is that Indonesia’s export performance remains weak amid the sluggish global economy, including weak demand from China (Indonesia’s largest trading partner). Meanwhile, Indonesia’s domestic consumption is curtailed by high interest rates.

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  • Indonesia Investments' Newsletter of 5 April 2015 Released

    On 5 April 2015, Indonesia Investments released the latest edition of its newsletter. This free newsletter, which is sent to our subscribers once per week, contains the most important news stories from Indonesia that have been reported on our website in the last seven days. Most of the topics involve economic matters such as an analysis of March inflation, the new letter of credit (L/C) policy for key commodity exports, the appointment of Pertamina as operator of the Mahakam block, and more.

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Latest Columns Inflation

  • Current Account Deficit Indonesia at 4.27% of GDP; BI Rate Kept at 7.50%

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced two important matters on Thursday (14/08). Firstly, the institution decided to maintain the benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent, the overnight deposit facility rate (Fasbi) at 5.75 percent, and the lending facility rate at 7.50 percent. Secondly, it announced that Indonesia’s current account deficit widened to USD $9.1 billion, or, 4.27 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2014, a widening that is larger than initially forecast.

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  • Economic Growth of Indonesia in Second Half 2014: Slowing or Growing?

    Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first half of 2014 reached 5.17 percent (year-on-year), thus continuing the slowing growth trend that has been recorded by the country since 2011. Forecasts for GDP growth in the second half of 2014 indicate a slight improvement (to the range of 5.2 to 5.3 percent year-on-year) supported by strong household consumption, increased government spending and further growth of the trade and services sector. However, in recent quarters the official GDP figure has been lower than most forecasts.

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  • Indonesia Market Update: June Trade Balance and July Inflation

    According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), the country’s trade balance in June 2014 recorded a deficit of USD $0.30 billion after the USD $0.05 billion surplus in the previous month. The performance of Indonesia’s trade balance was influenced by shrinkage of the country’s non-oil & gas surplus amid a lower oil & gas deficit compared to May 2014. Meanwhile, inflation was up 0.93 percent (month-to-month) in July 2014; a good performance amid the Ramadan and Idul Fitri festivities. Annual inflation eased to 4.53 percent (year-on-year).

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  • Markets in Indonesia Positive ahead of Official Presidential Election Result

    One day ahead of the official result of the Indonesian presidential election, the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (known as Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) showed a good performance as market participants seem to speculate not only on a Joko Widodo win, but also on a peaceful and orderly course of events (no large scale demonstrations or riots). On Sunday, president Yudhoyono received both presidential candidates at the State Palace for dinner. This may have helped to cool some of the tension between supporters of both sides.

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  • Agus Martowardojo: Indonesia's July 2014 Inflation Outpaces July Average

    Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo expects the country’s July 2014 inflation pace to come in the range of 0.80 to 1.20 percent (month-to-month). This relatively high inflation figure is caused by seasonal factors: the holy fasting month of Ramadan and Idul Fitri celebrations. Ahead and during these festivities, consumers tend to spend more, thus resulting in higher prices in the context of these Islamic celebrations. A recent Bank Indonesia survey showed that inflation already reached 0.80 percent in the first week of July.

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  • Update Economy of Indonesia; ICRA Indonesia's Monthly Review

    ICRA Indonesia, an independent credit rating agency and subsidiary of ICRA Ltd. (associate of Moody's Investors Service), publishes a monthly newsletter which provides an update on the financial and economic developments in Indonesia of the last month. In the June 2014 edition, a number of important topics that are monitored include Indonesia's inflation rate, the trade balance, the BI rate, the IDR rupiah exchange rate, and gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Below is an excerpt of the newsletter:

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  • How Did the Indonesian Rupiah and Stock Market Perform Last Week?

    Emerging currencies in Asia, led by the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate, strengthened in the past week on positive economic data from the US and China, the world’s two largest economies. Companies in the US added more jobs than expected in June 2014, while manufacturing in China grew at its fastest pace in 2014. Improving economies of the US and China are important for Asian countries as it boosts Asian exports. Moreover, Indonesian inflation and trade data contributed to positive market sentiments.

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  • Indonesia Financial Update: Analysis June Inflation and May Trade Balance

    Inflation in June 2014 increased by 0.43 percent (month-to-month, mtm) in accordance with the traditional pattern ahead of the holy fasting month of Ramadan and Idul Fitri celebrations. These occasions always trigger inflationary pressures as consumers increase spending. However, June inflation remains under control and is even lower than the historical average in June in recent years (0.56 percent mtm). On a year-on-year (yoy) basis, inflation stood at 6.70 percent, thus continuing the downward trend since the beginning of 2014.

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  • Poverty in Indonesia: National Poverty Rate Fell to 11.25% in March 2014

    Head of Statistics Indonesia (BPS) Suryamin announced on Tuesday (01/07) that the number of poor people in Indonesia declined slightly to 28.28 million people (or 11.25 percent of the total population) in March 2014, from 28.60 million (11.46 percent of the total population) in September 2013. However, compared to March last year, poverty has increased by 110,000 people due to high inflation and a slowing economy; economic growth slowed to 5.78 percent in 2013 and this decline continued to 5.21 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Stronger on Falling Oil Prices

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate is appreciating sharply on Monday (30/06). By 15:13pm local Jakarta time, the currency of Indonesia had strengthened 1.31 percent to IDR 11,838 against the US dollar. Main factors that cause this performance are the weakening US dollar (as a slowdown in the US economic recovery evokes expectations that the Fed Rate will not be raised soon) and falling oil prices; the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate declined 30 cents to USD $105.44 in mid-morning trade while Brent crude fell 22 cents to USD $113.08.

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