Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

Today's Headlines Inflation

  • Government's 2014 Macroeconomic Assumptions Ambitious but Unrealistic

    The macroeconomic assumptions that have been formulated in the 2014 State Budget Draft by the government of Indonesia are not considered too realistic by several analysts. Although it is understood that one should set a high standard in order to maximize efforts, analysts feel that - given the current problematic economic context in Asian emerging economies as well as global economic turmoil - the government is far too optimistic, particularly because the government will have to devote part of its attention to the elections in mid-2014.

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  • Indonesia's Consumer Confidence Falls in July because of Rising Inflation

    According to a Bank Indonesia report that was released on Monday (19/08), consumer confidence in Indonesia has weakened after the government decided to raise prices of subsidized fuels in June 2013. The country's consumer confidence index fell 8.7 points to 108¹ in July from 117 points in June. Higher fuel prices led to higher transportation costs that subsequently made many retailers increase prices of products, thus impacting on Indonesian households' purchasing power. In July, the annual inflation rate accelerated to 8.61 percent.

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  • Indonesia's Benchmark Stock Index Falls 5.58% amid Heavy Concerns

    Indonesian stocks took a large dive on today's trading day (19/08) at the Indonesia Stock Exchange. The IHSG (the index of all listed stocks) fell 5.58 percent to 4,313.52 points as negative market sentiments caused foreign investors to pull money out of the Indonesian market. Investors are highly concerned about a number of macroeconomic data that have been released recently. These data indicated the slowest economic growth since Q3-2010, inflation at a four-year high and a widening trade deficit.

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  • Bank Indonesia Keeps Key BI Rate at 6.50% to Support Economic Growth

    Indonesia's central bank, Bank Indonesia, decided today (15/08) to keep its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 6.50 percent. In recent days, heavy speculation emerged about whether Bank Indonesia would raise the BI rate for the third consecutive time in three months as the country is plagued by higher inflation (8.61 percent year-on-year in July 2013) and a weakening rupiah. Reluctance to raise the interest rate again seems to indicate that the Bank gives priority to economic growth, which has slid to a three-year low at 5.81 percent in Q2-2013.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Inflation Likely to Ease below 1% in August 2013

    Bank Indonesia: Inflation Likely to Ease below 1% in August 2013

    Indonesia's central bank expects that the country's monthly inflation rate will ease to below one percent in August. However, in order to meet this expectation the bank stresses that there needs to be an improvement in the food product supply through imports and good distribution practice. The latter, particularly, is problematic due to Indonesia's lack of quality and quantity in infrastructure. In July, monthly inflation rose 3.29 percent due to the start of the new school year and impact of higher subsidized fuel prices.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Inflation is Expected to Stay Above 8% in 2013

    Bank Indonesia: Inflation is Expected to Stay Above 8% in 2013

    Although it was clear that Indonesia would see a high inflation rate in July 2013 as the impact of higher fuel prices would kick in, Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) was surprised to see the figure go up to 3.29 percent. Currently, Indonesia's annual inflation rate stands at 8.61 percent. Bank Indonesia's governor Agus Martowardojo said that this rate is far outside the central bank's target range and announced that the institution expects annual inflation to stay above 8%  throughout 2013, higher than its previous assumption of 7.8% at end-2013.

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  • Indonesia's Economic Growth Slows Down to 5.81% in Q2-2013

    Today (02/08), Indonesia's bureau for statistics announced that economic growth of Indonesia in the second quarter of 2013 reached 5.81 percent (YoY), which is the lowest growth rate since Q3-2010 and also lower than most analysts as well as the Indonesian government expected. The GDP figure reflects Indonesia's cooling economy. For the fourth consecutive quarter, the rate has weakened as the country has been under pressure: high inflation, a widening trade deficit and a weakening rupiah.

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  • Lower Oil Imports in Q3-2013 will Support Indonesia's Weakening Rupiah

    The Indonesian government assumes that the recently increased prices of subsidized fuels will translate into lower oil imports from the third quarter of 2013. Lower oil imports will result in lower demand for foreign currencies and, as such, will support Indonesia's currency, the rupiah. The value of the IDR rupiah is also influenced by market participants' expectation of inflation. Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) projects inflation to rise to 2.77 percent in July, and to slow down to 1 percent in both August and September.

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  • Indonesian Banks Post Good Financial Results in Semester I-2013

    Despite a higher benchmark interest rate, higher inflation, a weakening rupiah, and global economic turmoil, four out of seven Indonesian banks that released their financial results over the first half of 2013, have posted double-digit growth. The seven banks show a combined growth of 16.2 percent. Although it is an impressive figure, it is a couple of percentage points lower than last year's performance. Indonesia's economy has slowed down to an annual economic growth of six percent and this has impacted on domestic demand for credit loans.

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  • 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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Latest Columns Inflation

  • 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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  • Slowing Growth in Indonesian Cement Sales Continues in Semester II

    Slowing Growth in Indonesian Cement Sales Continues in Semester II

    Cement sales in Indonesia grew by seven percent to 32.9 million tons in the period January to July 2013. This pace of growth is significantly lower compared to the double-digit cement growth rate last year and thus forms another sign of cooling economic growth in Southeast Asia's largest economy (cement sales are a good indicator to measure the state of economic growth of a country). A slowdown in domestic cement sales is likely to continue in the second half of 2013, partly due to a decline in infrastructure projects.

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  • Despite Higher Idul Fitri Consumption, Indonesia May Not Reach GDP Target

    Although the holy fasting month of Ramadan and subsequent Idul Fitri celebrations always provide a boost for national economic growth in Indonesia as domestic consumption tends to peak, analysts believe that it will not contribute significantly to the government's 6.3 percent GDP growth target this year. During Ramadan and Idul Fitri (known as Lebaran), Indonesian consumers generally spend more on food products, clothes, shoes, tickets for transport and hotels than in other months, and thus lead to increased economic activity.

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  • Possible End to Quantitative Easing Will Impact on Emerging Economies

    Possible End to Quantitative Easing Will Impact on Emerging Economies

    Worldwide, most stock indices fell on Wednesday (07/08), particularly Japan's Nikkei index, after it has been speculated that the Federal Reserve may phase out the third round of its quantitative easing program in September 2013. This program, involving a monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying package, aims to spur US economic growth while keeping interest rates low. However, one important side effect has been rising stock markets around the globe. Now the end of QE3 is in sight, investors shy away from riskier assets.

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  • Indonesia's Inflation Rate Accelerates to 3.29% in July 2013

    Indonesia’s inflation rate in July 2013 was significantly higher than analysts had previously estimated. The country’s July inflation figure accelerated to 3.29 percent. On year-on-year basis, it now stands at 8.61 percent, the highest inflation rate since many years. Particularly food commodity and transportation prices rose steeply. The main reason for Indonesia's high inflation is the reduction in fuel subsidies. In late June, the government increased the prices of subsidized fuels in order to relieve the ballooning budget deficit.

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  • Despite High July Inflation and Trade Deficit, Indonesia's IHSG Slightly up

    As I stated before, mixed sentiments continue to influence the performance of Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG). During Thursday's trading day (01/08), the index moved sideways. News that the Federal Reserve intends to continue its bond-buying program made a good impact. However, this positive sentiment was offset by the release of Indonesia's high July inflation rate as well as the country's continued trade deficit. At the end of the day, the IHSG managed to post a gain as it received support from rising stock indices in Asia.

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  • Facing Higher Inflation: Indonesia's Stock Market under Pressure

    Last week (22-26 July 2013), Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) ended 1.39 percent down at 4,658.87. The daily value of transactions on the regular market narrowed to an average of IDR 3 trillion (USD $300 million) from IDR 3.84 trillion in the previous week. Foreigners still recorded net sales amounting to IDR 92.9 billion (USD $9.3 million). Lack of positive sentiments, financial results of companies that were below expectation and the continued weakening of the rupiah against the US dollar resulted in the decline of the index.

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  • Investment Realization in Indonesia USD $19.8 billion in Semester I-2013

    Foreign and Domestic Investment Realization in Indonesia 2013

    Investment realization in Indonesia grew 30.2 percent to IDR 192.8 trillion (USD $19.8 billion) in the first six months of 2013 (compared to the same period last year). This result implies that 49.4 percent of the investment target for full 2013 has been achieved. The Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) aims to collect IDR 390.3 trillion in investments this year. This target is divided in domestic direct investment (DDI) of IDR 117.7 trillion and foreign direct investment (FDI) of IDR 272.6 trillion.

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  • Market Waits for Indonesia's Inflation Data and Financial Company Reports

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) increased 3.98 points to close at 4,724.41 on the last trading day (19/07). During last week, the index rose a limited 1.97 percent amid the context of a weakening IDR rupiah (Indonesia's currency even fell below the psychological boundary of IDR 10,000 against the US dollar). The IHSG's performance last week was mainly supported by rising shares in the country's finance, property, construction and metal mining sectors, while the cement and plantation sectors were corrected.

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