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Today's Headlines Inflation

  • 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

    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

    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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  • 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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Latest Columns 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

    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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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Update: Depreciating on Strong US Dollar

    Contrary to the positive performance of the benchmark stock index of Indonesia on Monday’s trading day (01/09) and despite positive domestic economic data released by Statistics Indonesia, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.22 percent to IDR 11,716 per US dollar based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index on Monday (01/09). The main reason for the currency’s depreciation is the strengthening US dollar as US economic data are improving and inflation is slowing in the Eurozone.

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  • SBY Declines but Joko Widodo Set to Curb Indonesia’s Fuel Subsidies

    In the past days, Indonesia’s fuel subsidy policy has been in the spotlight of Indonesian media continuously. When it was reported that incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and newly elected president Joko Widodo would meet on the island of Bali this week to discuss various transitional matters, speculation emerged that the country’s generous fuel subsidies, which seriously burden the government’s budget as well as current account, might be wound down before the new government is inaugurated in October 2014.

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  • Current Account Deficit Indonesia at 4.27% of GDP; BI Rate Kept at 7.50%

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced two important matters on Thursday (14/08). Firstly, the institution decided to maintain the benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent, the overnight deposit facility rate (Fasbi) at 5.75 percent, and the lending facility rate at 7.50 percent. Secondly, it announced that Indonesia’s current account deficit widened to USD $9.1 billion, or, 4.27 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2014, a widening that is larger than initially forecast.

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  • Economic Growth of Indonesia in Second Half 2014: Slowing or Growing?

    Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first half of 2014 reached 5.17 percent (year-on-year), thus continuing the slowing growth trend that has been recorded by the country since 2011. Forecasts for GDP growth in the second half of 2014 indicate a slight improvement (to the range of 5.2 to 5.3 percent year-on-year) supported by strong household consumption, increased government spending and further growth of the trade and services sector. However, in recent quarters the official GDP figure has been lower than most forecasts.

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  • Indonesia Market Update: June Trade Balance and July Inflation

    According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), the country’s trade balance in June 2014 recorded a deficit of USD $0.30 billion after the USD $0.05 billion surplus in the previous month. The performance of Indonesia’s trade balance was influenced by shrinkage of the country’s non-oil & gas surplus amid a lower oil & gas deficit compared to May 2014. Meanwhile, inflation was up 0.93 percent (month-to-month) in July 2014; a good performance amid the Ramadan and Idul Fitri festivities. Annual inflation eased to 4.53 percent (year-on-year).

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