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Today's Headlines Inflation

  • 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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  • Indonesia's Inflation Rate Will in Peak in July After Fuel Prices Kick in

    Indonesia's inflation rate in June was 1.03 percent, a significant rise compared to the previous month (deflation of 0.03 percent). Although the government's decision to increase the price of subsidized fuel in the second half of June 2013 already made an impact on the country's inflation rate, it is expected that in the next two months inflation will peak over two percent. Apart from the fuel price, other factors that will cause high inflation are the start of the holy fasting month (Ramadan), the new school year and the higher electricity rate.

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Latest Columns Inflation

  • Despite Positive Domestic Data Rupiah Exchange Rate Continues Depreciation

    Despite the release of positive macroeconomic data on Monday (03/02), Indonesia's rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.22 percent to IDR 12,240 per US dollar based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index. China’s Manufacturing PMI fell to a six-month low of 50.5 in January and put pressure on stocks and currencies in emerging markets. Moreover, the Federal Reserve's further reduction of its quantitative easing program (to USD $65 billion per month) continues to strengthen the US dollar at the expense of emerging currencies.

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  • Indonesia's Chamber of Commerce: Economic Growth Will Slow in 2014

    Indonesia's Chamber of Commerce: Economy Will Slow in 2014

    This year, legislative and presidential elections will be held in Indonesia. Obviously, there is a strong relationship between the politics and economics of a country. Businessmen from various sectors of Indonesia's economy have already been voicing their views. As the umbrella organization of the Indonesian business chambers and associations, Kadin Indonesia recently shared its views about the elections as well. The institute believes that the 2014 elections will run smoothly because Indonesia's democracy has matured.

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  • Analysis: What Caused Indonesia's Slowing Economic Growth in 2013

    Analysis: What Caused Indonesia's Slowing Economic Growth in 2013

    On Wednesday 5 February 2014, Statistics Indonesia (BPS, a non-departmental government institute) is expected to release Indonesia's official GDP growth figure for the year 2013. It is estimated that the outcome will be the lowest GDP growth figure since 2009 when Southeast Asia's largest economy grew 4.6 percent after feeling the impact of the global financial crisis. In 2013, again, Indonesia felt the negative influence of external troubles. And in combination with domestic factors, Indonesia's economic growth is expected to be around 5.7 percent in 2013.

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  • Indonesia Attracts Investments in Car Components Worth USD $1.5B

    Indonesia Attracts Investments in Automotive Components Worth USD $1.5B

    In 2014, Indonesia is expected to see capital inflow of between USD $1 billion and USD $1.5 billion of funds for investments in the country's car components industry. About 20 to 30 companies are eager to expand or start business in this sector of Southeast Asia's largest economy (each investing about USD $50 million). Indonesia's car industry is attractive due to record high car sales in recent years (triggered by strong domestic GDP per capita growth) as well as double-digit export growth (although coming from a low base).

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  • ICRA Indonesia’s Monthly Economic Review; a Macroeconomic Update

    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 December 2013 edition, a number of important topics that are monitored include Indonesia's inflation rate, the trade balance, the current account deficit, the IDR rupiah exchange rate, and gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Below is an excerpt of the newsletter:

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  • Official Press Release Bank Indonesia: Interest Rates Left Unchanged

    Today, Bank Indonesia kept its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent at the Board of Governors’ meeting. The lending facility rate and deposit facility rate were maintained at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent respectively. An assessment of the economy in 2013 and outlook for 2014-2015 indicated that such policy is consistent with ongoing efforts to keep inflation within the target of 4.5±1 percent in 2014 and 4±1 percent in 2015, as well as to help reduce the current account deficit to a sustainable level.

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  • Despite Long Term Growth, Indonesia's Sales of Motorcycles Fall at End 2013

    Despite Long Term Growth, Indonesia's Sales of Motorcycles Fall at End 2013

    Domestic sales of motorcycles in Indonesia are expected to have fallen by 20 percent to 550,000 in December 2013 compared to the previous month (688,527). According to the Chairman of the commercial department of the Indonesian Motorcycle Industry Association (AISI), Sigit Kumala, this decline is not the result of slowing demand for motorcycles but due to the limited amount of working days amid the Christmas and New Year holidays. This then led to less production and distribution of motorcycles to Indonesian dealers.

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  • Indonesia's Trade and Inflation Data Cause Positive Start of the Year

    Again positive news for Indonesia's trade balance. Last week, Statistics Indonesia announced that the largest economy of Southeast Asia posted a USD $776.8 million trade surplus in November 2013 (the largest monthly trade surplus since March 2012). After the (revised) USD $24 million trade surplus in October 2013, November was the second straight month in which the country posted a surplus. This development is important to gain investors' confidence as Indonesia's current account deficit has been a major cause for concern.

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  • Overview of the Performance of Indonesia's Stock Market in 2013

    As we approach the end of 2013 it is worth taking a look back to the performance of the stock market of Indonesia this year. At the start of the year, investors and analysts were positive that the country's benchmark stock index (known as the IHSG or Jakarta Composite Index) would post steady growth. Initial forecasts claimed that the IHSG could surpass the 5,000 points level by the end of 2013 from 4,300 at end-2012. The actual performance of the IHSG in fact exceeded expectations as in May 2013 the index moved beyond 5,200 points.

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  • Searching for Financial Stability: Indonesia's BI Rate Policy Questioned

    On Thursday 12 December 2013, Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) announced that the country's benchmark interest rate (BI rate) remains unchanged at the level of 7.50 percent in December 2013. This announcement was a bit surprizing as about 80 percent of analysts expected Bank Indonesia to raise the BI rate in order to support the depreciating Indonesia rupiah exchange rate. Starting the year at IDR 9,670 per US dollar, the rupiah has fallen around 25 percent to IDR 12,081 per US dollar.

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