Indonesia's trade deficit narrowed slightly in January as there has been better demand from developed countries. However, Indonesian exports remain under pressure with persistent weak global demand. Moreover, higher crude oil prices increase the country's import costs. In addition to Indonesia's trade deficit, annual inflation increased to 5.31 percent in February due to rising food prices and higher electricity tariffs.
Update COVID-19 in Indonesia: 2,956 confirmed infections, 240 deaths (8 April 2020)
8 April 2020 (closed)
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Today's Headlines Inflation
Bank Indonesia, the country's central bank, continued its key interest rate at the level of 5.75 percent. The interest rate has been at this historic low level for the 12th month in a row. The current policy rate is "considered consistent with the contained inflationary pressure in accordance with its target range of 4.5 percent ± 1 percent in 2013 and 2014," according to the website of Indonesia's central bank.
Today, Statistics Indonesia (BPS), a non-departmental government institute, stated that the inflation rate of January increased due to the government's decision to raise electricity tariffs and due to massive floods in Jakarta and other cities. January's headline inflation is 1.03 percent. The year-on-year inflation rate now stands at 4.57 percent; still within Indonesia's Central Bank's target of 4.5 ±1 percent.
Latest Columns Inflation
Usually, news about inflation is not well-received by market participants. Particularly when inflation turns out to be higher than expected. This time, however, something interesting happened in Indonesia. Although the country's March inflation rate was high (5.90 percent year-on-year), it was not followed up by a negative response of market players. In fact, the inflation rate seems to have strengthened the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IHSG), which gained 0.40 percent on Tuesday.
With a number of important global stock exchanges still closed due to Easter, it seemed that the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IHSG) lacked a reference point to which it could cling. It is also likely that market participants have already consumed most of the 2012 corporate company reports and are therefore not waiting for new data of listed companies. Moreover, today's announcement of the relative high inflation rate of March did not support the IHSG either.
Yesterday, Statistics Indonesia (BPS), a non-departmental government institution, released Indonesia's export and import numbers of February 2013. Indonesia's imports reached US $15.32 billion, while its exports stood at US $14.99 billion. It has thus resulted in the continuation of a trade deficit (US $327.4 million). For Indonesia, which always reported trade surpluses until last year, it is a worrying scenario as the trade deficit and higher inflation put pressure on the IDR rupiah.
This week, the World Bank published its Indonesia Economic Quarterly (IEQ, edition March 2013) titled 'Pressures Mounting'. It reports on key developments over the past three months in Indonesia’s economy, and places these in a longer-term and global context. To read the whole report, please visit the World Bank's website at www.worldbank.org or download this edition directly through this link. Below we present the executive summary.
After continuously reaching new record-high levels last week, the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IHSG) finally had to give up some of its gain and closed 1.04 percent lower. Declining Asian stock markets (excluding Japan's main index) and fears that the IHSG had already reached a (too) high level impacted on today's result. Market participants, who recently confirmed good corporate annual results of many companies by buying, now engaged in profit taking.
Apparently, yesterday's decline was only a small stumbling block for the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IHSG). Indonesia's main indicator rebounded strongly after feeling the effects of stronger American stock indices that were positively influenced by a rise in Housing Index and Consumer Confidence. Moreover, the IHSG accelerated its gain after Asian stock markets and the opening of Europe's stock indices were positive.
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