Below is a list with tagged columns and company profiles.

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

  • 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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  • Weakening Rupiah due to Indonesia's Fundamentals and Profit Taking

    Weakening Indonesian Rupiah IDR Indonesia Investments

    The Indonesian rupiah (IDR) is experiencing one of its worst losing streaks in a decade. On Friday (19/07), the currency weakened to IDR 10,070 against the US dollar, which implies a devaluation of 4.14% in 2013 so far. The central bank of Indonesia, Bank Indonesia, does all it can to support the currency: the country's lender of last resort supplies dollars to the market triggering the reduction of foreign reserves from USD $105 million at end-May to $98 million at end-June, and raised its benchmark interest rate (BI Rate) by 50 bps to 6.50%.

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  • Asian Stock Indices Mixed but Indonesia's IHSG Continues to Rise

    IHSG - Indonesia Stock Exchange - 18 July 2013 - Indonesian Index - Indonesia Investments

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) went up 0.89 percent to 4,720.44 on Thursday (18/07). The index was supported by developments in the United States. On Wednesday (17/07), Ben Bernanke spoke to the US Congress and said that the Federal Reserve is likely to continue its bond-buying program in 2013 and may gradually withdraw the quantitative easing program in 2014. But only if economic recovery of the US provides the good context. This message supported the IHSG although foreign investors continued to record a net sale.

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