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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

  • What are Joko Widodo's Economic & Social Development Targets?

    Last week, Indonesian President Joko Widodo introduced higher subsidized fuel prices in Southeast Asia’s largest economy in a bid to shift generous public spending from fuel consumption to productive and structural economic and social development. Prices of subsidized low-octane gasoline (premium) and diesel (solar) were raised by over 30 percent, or IDR 2,000 (USD $0.17) per liter, starting from 00:00 on Tuesday (18/11). Widodo aims to reallocate these funds to infrastructure, social welfare and the maritime sector.

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  • Impact of Higher Subsidized Fuel Prices on Indonesia’s Car Industry

    Impact of Higher Subsidized Fuel Prices on Indonesia’s Car Industry

    After Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla have confirmed that prices of subsidized fuels (gasoline and diesel) will be raised in November 2014 in an attempt to ease the country’s wide current account deficit and government budget deficit (which are primarily caused by costly oil imports), domestic car manufacturers and dealers are expected to post declining earnings in 2015. Besides the subsidized fuel price issue, Indonesia’s car industry is also negatively impacted by the country’s slowing economic growth.

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  • What are the Economic Challenges Faced by President Joko Widodo?

    What are the Economic Challenges Faced by President Joko Widodo?

    Today (20/10), Central Jakarta seems to have changed into one big party as Joko Widodo was inaugurated as Indonesia’s seventh president earlier this morning. For the remainder of the day celebrations will be held at Monas (National Monument) and surrounding areas. However, it is of vital importance that Widodo (popularly known as Jokowi) will start to focus on this presidential duties tomorrow as the country is facing a number of economic challenges. What are these challenges?

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  • Bank Indonesia Press Release: Key Interest Rate Kept at 7.50%

    Bank Indonesia Press Release: Key Interest Rate Kept at 7.50%

    Bank Indonesia decided to hold the key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent in October, with the Lending Facility and Deposit Facility rates kept at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively. This level is expected to help control inflation at 4.5±1 percent in 2014 and 4.0±1 percent in 2015, as well as to reduce the current account deficit to a more sustainable level. Despite stable domestic conditions, Bank Indonesia sees risks: contagion risk stemming from US monetary tightening and possible higher subsidized fuel prices.

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  • Bank Indonesia Press Release: Trade Balance and Inflation Update

    Bank Indonesia Press Release: Trade Balance and Inflation Update

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) released a press statement on Wednesday evening (01/10) in which it set out its view on the country’s trade balance and inflation after the latest economic data had been released by Statistics Indonesia (abbreviated BPS) earlier on the day. Based on information of BPS, Indonesia’s September inflation was relatively low at 0.27 percent month-to-month (m/m), while the August trade balance swung back into a deficit at USD $318.1 million.

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  • Financial Update Indonesia: Interest Rates, Fuel Subsidies & Inflation

    Financial Update Indonesia: Interest Rates, Fuel Subsidies & Inflation

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) will not lower its key interest rate (BI rate) until accelerated inflation (brought on by the looming subsidized fuel price hike at the end of the year) has eased and US interest rates are stable (the US Federal Reserve may raise its key interest rate in the second or third quarter of 2015). This implies that the relatively high interest rate environment in Indonesia (the key BI rate has been at 7.50 percent for almost a year) will continue (to safeguard financial stability) at the expense of higher economic growth.

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  • Bank Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 7.50% in September 2014

    Bank Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 7.50% in September 2014

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) kept its key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent for the tenth consecutive month as inflation is under control and well within the year-end target of the central bank (3.5-5.5 percent). The lending facility and deposit facility were kept at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively, at Thursday’s Board of Governor’s Meeting (11/09). The central bank also expects that the current interest rate environment is capable of curbing the country’s wide current account deficit.

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  • Indonesian Government Eyes Economic growth of 5.8% in 2015

    The government of Indonesia agreed with the House Budget Committee to adjust the economic growth target of Southeast Asia’s largest economy in 2015 to 5.8 percent, 0.2 percentage point up from the initial growth target proposed by the government in the Financial Memorandum as well as the 2015 State Budget Draft (APBN). Still, the 5.8 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth target constitutes the lowest growth target set in Indonesia’s state budget (excluding revised state budgets) since the year 2010.

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  • Record High Level Indonesian Stocks on Sukuk Sale and Subsidy Reform

    The benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) ended at a record high on Wednesday (03/09) as market sentiments were positive after the Indonesian government raised USD $1.5 billion from 10-year dollar-denominated Islamic bonds (known as sukuk) on Tuesday (02/09). Foreign investors submitted USD $10 billion worth of bids, six times the amount offered, showing that they are confident about the country’s current and future economic prospects.

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  • Economic Challenges Indonesia: Jokowi to Raise Fuel Prices Soon?

    Speculation has emerged that Indonesian President-elect Joko Widodo (Jokowi) plans to raise prices of subsidized fuels immediately after taking office in late October 2014. On Tuesday (02 /09), Jokowi said that he sees no other option than to raise these prices in an effort to relieve the budget deficit, curb the wide current account deficit and make more funds available for long-term productive public investments (such as on infrastructure, healthcare and education). The government has set aside IDR 291.1 trillion (USD $25 billion) for fuel subsidies in 2015.

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