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Today's Headlines Inflation

  • Floods, LPG and Electricity Tariffs Impact on Indonesia's January Inflation

    Contrary to reports last week, the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects that the country's January inflation rate may exceed 1 percent due to the disturbance of food products distribution amid severe floods in several cities in Indonesia, particularly Jakarta and Manado. Higher food prices are expected to add 0.3 percent to the monthly inflation rate. Apart from the flood issue, higher LPG as well as electricity tariffs (in the industry sector) will also contribute to January 2014 inflation.

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  • IMF Raises Its Forecast for US and Global Economic Growth in 2014

    On Tuesday (21/01), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sent a positive message to the world as it slightly raised its forecast for global economic growth in 2014. The main reason for this upward revision is the improving economy of the USA. According to the IMF, the US economy will grow 2.8 percent in 2014 (0.2 percentage points higher than the IMF's previous outlook released in October 2013). Due to stronger US growth, the global economy is now expected to expand by 3.7 percent (0.1 percent up from its previous forecast).

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  • Indonesia Plagued by Flooding; Impact on January Inflation Still Uncertain

    Indonesia's Ministry of Finance is optimistic that the country's inflation rate can be kept at 5.5 percent in 2014 as demand and supply of goods is expected to remain stable although the depreciating rupiah exchange rate and weak state of the country's infrastructure will continue to provide inflationary pressures. Deputy Finance Minister Bambang PS Brodjonegoro expects inflation in January 2014 to be lower than in the same month last year (1.03 percent) but it remains uncertain the extent to which the current floods will impact on the inflation rate.

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  • Indonesia's High Rainfall Can Lead to Inflationary Pressures in January

    Traditionally in the first month of the year, heavy rainfalls plague certain areas of Indonesia, particularly parts of Java, Kalimantan and Sumatra as the rainy season hits its peak. These weather conditions cause social problems as tens of thousands of people need to relocate as well as economic turmoil due to disrupted harvests and logistic trouble amid bad connectivity. Governor of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia), Agus Martowardojo, stated that the current weather conditions may result in higher inflationary pressures in January.

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  • Amid Improving Global Economy, Indonesia Optimistic about GDP Growth

    Forecasts for economic growth in Indonesia in 2014 are still optimistic. The government of Indonesia targets a 6 percent growth rate, while the country's central bank (Bank Indonesia) expects GDP growth in the range of 5.8 to 6.2 percent. Although these forecasts clearly fall short of the target set in the country's National Medium Term Development Plan (RPJMN) - which mentions annual GDP growth of between 6.3 and 6.8 percent - the forecasts are still rather positive given the global uncertain and volatile economic context in recent years.

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  • Low Indonesian Inflation Rate Expected to Continue into January 2014

    The Governor of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia), Agus Martowardojo, expects that the pace of inflation in Indonesia in January 2014 is most likely to become one of the lowest January inflation rates in the last five years although it remains important that food supplies are maintained at safe levels. The higher price of LPG in Southeast Asia's largest economy is expected to contribute only slightly to January's inflation rate. Martowardojo also stated that Indonesia's macroeconomy is stable at the start of a new year.

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  • Indonesia's Rupiah Gains on Trade Balance and Forex Reserves

    The performance of the Indonesia rupiah exchange rate on Friday morning (10/01) was rather stagnant against the US dollar (the latter's movement was mixed against currencies in the Asia-Pacific) although the rupiah was up 0.12 percent to IDR 12,178 per US dollar at 13:42 local Jakarta time based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index. Positive sentiments are caused by Indonesia's narrowing current account deficit (possibly less than 3 percent of GDP in Q4-2013) and rising foreign exchange reserves at end-December 2013.

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  • Indonesia's Central Bank Maintains Interest Rate (BI Rate) at 7.50%

    Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) kept its benchmark interest rate (known as the BI rate) at 7.50 percent in today's Board of Governor's meeting (09/01). The institution decided not to change its interest rate because it estimates that the inflation target for 2014 is not in jeopardy (4.5 percent) while Indonesia's economic growth prospects for 2014 and 2015 remain unchanged. Also the overnight lending facility as well as deposit facility rate (Fasbi) were kept at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent respectively.

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  • Car Sales in Indonesia Expected to Rise in 2014 amid Political Elections

    Supported by legislative and presidential elections, car sales in Indonesia are expected to grow between five and ten percent to 1.30 million total vehicles in 2014. These elections are estimated to boost the domestic money flow due to increased economic activity in Southeast Asia's largest economy. Consumption goods such as cars and food & beverage products are expected to feel the impact of this development and may offset the negative impact brought on by the weak rupiah, high inflation and the high interest rate environment.

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  • Indonesia's December 2013 Inflation at 0.55% and Full-Year 2013 at 8.38%

    On Thursday (02/01), Statistics Indonesia (BPS) released the December 2013 inflation figure of Indonesia as well as the calender inflation rate for full-year 2013. Higher food prices and house prices were the main contributors to the 0.55 percent inflation rate in December 2013. Seasonal celebrations, like Christmas and New Year, always translate into higher inflationary pressures in Southeast Asia's largest economy. Higher fuel prices were the main contributor to the 8.38 percent inflation rate in full-year 2013.

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Latest Columns Inflation

  • Indonesian Government Reacts to the Impact of Global Financial Turmoil

    Despite the announcement of an economic policy package aimed at overcoming the impact of global financial turmoil, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) was not able to end the week on a positive note, while the value of the rupiah on the spot market depreciated 1.68 percent to IDR 11,058 per US dollar on Friday (23/08) amid a majority of strengthening Asian currencies, including the Indian rupee (0.67 percent) and the Thai baht (0.28 percent). Based on Bank Indonesia's mid rate, the rupiah fell 4.4 percent against the US dollar to IDR 10,848 last week.

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  • Bank Indonesia Takes Steps to Maintain Macroeconomic Stability

    Similar to the Indonesian government, Indonesia's central bank also announced a fiscal policy package to support sustainable nationwide economic growth by curbing inflation, maintaining a more sustainable balance of payments as well as strengthening financial system stability. These additional policies are expected to synergise with the policy package unveiled by the government on Friday (23/08). These measures were taken as both the rupiah and Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) are in a downward spiral.

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  • Despite Government's 'Rescue Package' IHSG and Rupiah Weaken

    Today's release of the economic rescue package was not able to put Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) into green territory. Also, the Indonesian rupiah maintained its losing streak. The IHSG fell 0.04 percent to 4,169.83 points. Interestingly enough, the IHSG was rising previous to the release of the package. After the release, however, it started to weaken slightly, which seems to indicate that market participants were a bit disappointed with the contents of the package as it contained no quick fixes to the economy.

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  • Indonesian Government Releases 'Emergency Plan' to Support Economy

    As had been announced previously, today (23/08) the government of Indonesia released an 'emergency plan' that aims to improve the financial sector while restoring confidence in the country's fundamentals as turmoil emerged on Indonesia's stock exchange, bonds market and the rupiah. Economic minister Hatta Rajasa said that this plan consists of four packages. These four packages cover the current account deficit, rupiah performance, economic growth, purchasing power, inflation and investments.

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  • Indonesia's Benchmark Stock Index (IHSG) and Rupiah Continue Its Fall

    On Thursday (22/08), Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) was not able to continue the rebound that occurred yesterday when the country's biggest pension fund, Jamsostek, began buying blue-chip stocks in a move to support the ailing index. Indonesia's benchmark index has now lost about 20 percent since its record peak in May 2013. Today, it fell 1.11 percent to 4,171.41 points. Eight sectoral indices weakened, of which the top losers were construction (-5.78 percent), basic industry (-3.42 percent), and finance (-2.39 percent).

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  • Concern over Ailing Rupiah Intensifies; Government Prepares Package

    Concerns about Indonesia's weakening rupiah intensified on Wednesday (21/08) as the currency is now balancing on the psychological boundary of IDR 11,000 per US dollar. The rupiah continued its downward spiral today although its decline was limited due to the intervention of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) that started selling US dollars again in an effort to support the rupiah. According to data compiled by Reuters, the rupiah has now fallen 10.7 percent this year.

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  • Indonesia Stock Index (IHSG) and Rupiah Are Extending its Losing Streak

    On Tuesday (20/08), Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) continued its decline with its fourth consecutive day of losses. Amid major concerns about Indonesia's economic growth, high inflation, tighter monetary policy and current account deficit, the IHSG fell 3.21 percent to 4,174.98 points. It means that the index now stands about 21 percent lower than its record peak in May 2013. Foreign investors have been pulling money out of the Indonesian market. According to Bloomberg, about USD $255 million has been retracted in the last two days.

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  • Why Did Indonesia's Main Stock Index (IHSG) Fall on Monday?

    Why Did Indonesia's Main Stock Index (IHSG) Fall on Monday?

    Analysts expect that Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) will end mixed today (20/08) after yesterday's large plunge amid heavy market concerns. Yesterday, the index dropped 5.58 percent to 4,313.52 points, the lowest since October 2011. Indonesia posted a current account deficit in the second quarter of 2013, while Thailand entered into a recession. The MSCI Emerging Market index¹, which includes both countries, fell 1.4 percent to a six-week low. Below a short overview of factors that caused negative sentiments on Indonesia's market.

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  • Indonesia's Main Stock Index (IHSG): the Ship that is Rocked by a Storm

    For several weeks now, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) has been experiencing a sharp correction. As I wrote in my previous columns, market participants have been waiting for several important macro economic data, to wit Indonesia's economic growth figure for the second quarter of 2013, the July 2013 inflation rate, and the country's trade balance statistics for the first six months of this year. Now all above results have been released, we can analyze further the impact of these macroeconomic results as well as investors' reaction to it.

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  • Indonesia's Foreign Exchange Reserves Fall, Current Account Deficit Grows

    The foreign exchange reserves of Indonesia keep on falling from its historical peak of USD $124.64 billion in August 2011 to USD $92.67 billion at the end of July 2013. This development seems to highlight long-standing weaknesses in Indonesia's sovereign's external finances, as credit agency Fitch Ratings detected on several occasions before. The republic of Indonesia is currently characterized by four deficits, to wit a current account deficit, a balance of payments deficit, a trade balance deficit and a fiscal deficit.

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