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Today's Headlines Inflation

  • Indonesian Government: No Need for Panic over Weakening Rupiah

    Although Indonesia's currency, the IDR rupiah, has continued its weakening trend, Indonesian authorities are reassuring the people that this development is not as much caused by domestic factors but rather due to the rising US dollar against other currencies. According to data from Bank Indonesia, the Indonesian rupiah has weakened 5.99 percent to the US dollar in 2013. It is also clear that the central bank of Indonesia has decided to let the rupiah depreciate gradually instead of using its foreign exchange reserves to support the currency.

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  • Indonesian Car Sales Rise due to Discount Actions but May Fall in 2013

    A discount war ahead of Lebaran, the traditional celebration that follows after the holy fasting month of Ramadan is finished and when many Indonesians go back to their place of origin for a few days, is expected to spur car sales in July. It is a normal phenomenon that car sales increase ahead of Lebaran because an amount of people need a new car to carry them back to their places of birth. But this year the increase in car sales is expected to exceed sales figures in previous years as wholesalers use discount actions to reduce their car stockpiles.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Indonesia's Inflation Rate will Ease to 4.5% in 2014

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects inflation to moderate to 4.5 percent in 2014 if the country's current account balance can be turned into a surplus. Currently, Indonesia's trade balance shows a deficit as global demand for Indonesia's commodities has reduced due to international economic turmoil, while Indonesia continues to import large quantities of oil. If the deficit can be reversed into a surplus it will curtail inflation and automatically have a positive impact on Indonesia's currency (IDR rupiah).

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  • Asian Development Bank Downgrades Growth Forecasts for Asia

    In its latest report, titled Asian Development Outlook Supplement, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has downgraded its forecast for economic growth in both 2013 and 2014 for developing Asia due to weak demand from industrial countries and slowing economic growth in China. The ADB revised down its growth forecast for developing Asia by 0.3 percent to 6.3 percent in 2013 and 6.4 percent in 2014. The Manila-based development bank also expects commodity prices to fall sharper than previously estimated. 

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  • Inflationary Pressure due to Indonesia's Higher Food Prices during Ramadan

    Prices of certain food products in Indonesia have risen steeply during the first week of Ramadan, the Islamic fasting month. Higher prices are a sensitive issue at the moment as the country is fighting higher inflation after subsidized fuel prices were increased in June. Therefore, the central bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 50 bps to 6.50 percent last week. If inflation exceeds 2.3 percent in July (month to month) then it might result in another upward revision of the interest rate, thus slowing down Indonesia's economic growth.

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  • Central Bank of Indonesia Raises Benchmark Interest Rate to 6.50%

    The central bank of Indonesia, Bank Indonesia, has raised its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) and deposit facility rate (Fasbi) by 50 bps to 6.50 percent and 4.75 percent respectively. Bank Indonesia governor Agus Martowardojo said that this policy change is necessary to keep Indonesia's inflation figure within the target range. Last month, prices of subsidized fuels were raised by the government, which led to higher inflation in June (5.90% YoY). However, the impact of higher fuel prices is expected to make a deeper impact in July.

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  • Indonesian Motorcycle Sales Strong, but may Slow down in Second Half 2013

    Motorcycle sales in Indonesia rose 20 percent (year-on-year) to 661,282 units in June 2013. The head of the commercial department of the Indonesian Motorcycle Industry Association (AISI), Sigit Kumala, said that sales peak in June and July because of the Lebaran tradition that follows the holy fasting month (which starts tomorrow). After this fasting month, many Indonesians go back to their places of birth for a couple of days. Motorcycles are one of the modes of transportation used for this short holiday.

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  • Capital Outflows from Indonesia as Fed's Quantitative Easing May End

    Emerging markets, such as Indonesia, have been feeling the impact of a recovering economy in the United States. Last month, the Federal Reserve announced that, if the economy of the USA continues its improving trend, it will end its quantitative easing program gradually in 2013 until a complete stop in 2014. As Indonesia is one of the emerging economies that benefited from the spillover effects of the Fed's monthly bond-buying program, the country now feels the negative impact of the possible stop to the program.

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  • Ramadan and Lebaran Result in Higher Consumer Spending in Indonesia

    The holy fasting month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calender, and subsequent Idul Fitri (or Lebaran) festivities, when many Indonesians go back to their home towns for several days, will arrive soon (on or around 9 July 2013). This annual recurring tradition has some big economic implications as Indonesia's Muslim community increases spending prior and during this period to buy new clothes, shoes, food and drinks as well as transportation fares to travel back to their places of birth.

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  • Morgan Stanley: Indonesia's Securities Vulnerable to Capital Outflows

    After the World Bank signaled slowing economic growth in Indonesia, American multinational financial services corporation Morgan Stanley also detects problems in Southeast Asia's largest economy. According to Jonathan Garner, chief Asia and emerging-market strategist for Morgan Stanley, Indonesia’s stock market is the most vulnerable stock market in Southeast Asia in terms of sudden capital outflows. Morgan Stanley downgraded Indonesia's equities to underweight from equal weight and labeled the country as "a relatively over-owned country".

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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

    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

    Indonesian Government Releases 'Emergency Program' 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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