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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

  • Central Bank & Indonesia's Statistics Agency Expect Deflation in April 2016

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects to see deflation in April 2016 on the back of controlled food prices as the harvest season has arrived. Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo said a central bank survey shows deflation of 0.33 percent month-to-month (m/m) during the first three weeks of April. Besides lower food prices, Martowardojo also attributes April deflation to the government's decision to cut fuel prices (premium gasoline and diesel) by IDR 500 (approx. USD $0.04) per liter per 1 April. This move led to a 4 percent drop in public transportation tariffs.

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  • Bank Indonesia Adopts New Reference Rate: 7-day Reverse Repurchase Rate

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced on Friday (15/04) it will adopt a new monetary tool per 19 August 2016 that is to replace the existing BI rate which is considered too inefficient to influence market liquidity as it is not directly tied to Indonesia's money markets. The seven-day reverse repurchase rate (reverse repo), which stood at 5.50 percent in the central bank's last auction, is to become the nation's new benchmark. Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo, who communicated through a teleconference from Washington DC, emphasized that the central bank will not change its monetary stance.

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  • Car, Motorcycle & Cement Sales: Assessing Indonesia's Purchasing Power

    To assess Indonesia's purchasing power and consumer confidence it is always useful to take a look at car and motorcycle sales because when people are confident about their financial situation and have enough money to spend then they tend to buy cars and motorcycles (motorcycles are particularly popular among Indonesia's huge middle to lower-middle class segment). Meanwhile, cement sales inform about property and infrastructure development. Property development is also closely related to purchasing power and consumer confidence because property development grows when people's demand for property rises.

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  • Bank Indonesia Expects Deflation in February 2016

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects to see deflation at 0.15 percent month-to-month (m/m) in February 2016. Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo said lower (government) administered prices in combination with low core inflation will be the recipe for deflation in the second month of the year. The lower administered prices that are primarily the cause of deflation consist of fuel prices, air fares and 12-kilogram liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) canisters. In the first month of the year Indonesian inflation accelerated to 4.14 percent (y/y).

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  • Snapshot of the Indonesian Economy: Risks, Challenges & Development

    Tomorrow (05/02), Statistics Indonesia is scheduled to release Indonesia's official full-year 2015 economic growth figure. Nearly all analysts expect to see a figure that reflects the continuation of slowing economic growth. Southeast Asia's largest economy expanded 5.0 percent in 2014 and this is expected to have eased further to 4.7 percent or 4.8 percent in 2015 on the back of (interrelated) sluggish global growth, low commodity prices, and weak export performance. Domestically, Indonesia has or had to cope with high interest rates and inflation (hence curtailing people's purchasing power and consumption as well as business expansion).

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  • S&P: Indonesia's Banking Industry Stable but Profitability May Weaken

    New York-based financial services firm Standard & Poor's stated that Indonesia's banking industry will feel the negative impact of Indonesia's sluggish economic growth in combination with persistently low commodity prices next year. This combination may weaken profitability of the nation's banking industry. S&P puts Indonesia's economic growth in 2016 at 5 percent (y/y), below the International Monetary Fund's and World Bank's forecast as well as the central government's target, all at 5.3 percent (y/y).

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  • World Bank Releases Indonesia Economic Quarterly "Reforming amid Uncertainty"

    Today, the World Bank released the latest edition of its flagship publication Indonesia Economic Quarterly, entitled "Reforming amid Uncertainty". In this edition the Washington-based institution states that global conditions remain unfavorable despite financial markets having stabilized since October. Meanwhile, the country was negatively affected by severe man-made forest fires and toxic haze which cost Indonesia an estimated IDR 221 trillion (USD $16 billion or 1.9 percent of the country's gross domestic product) in five months.

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  • Economic Update Indonesia: November Inflation Expected at 0.2%

    After having experienced two consecutive months of deflation in September and October, Indonesia is expected to see inflation again in November, primarily on higher food prices (chicken meat and rice). Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Bank Indonesia, expects an inflation rate of 0.2 percent (month-on-month) in November. This would mean that inflation in full-year 2015 is likely to reach 3 percent (y/y), in line with earlier estimates and within - or perhaps slightly below - Bank Indonesia's target range of 3 - 5 percent (y/y) of inflation in 2015.

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  • Bank Indonesia Remains Committed to Tight Monetary Stance

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) relatively high in order to safeguard Indonesia's financial stability in 2016 (instead of seeking accelerated economic growth through a rate cut). Despite easing pressures on inflation and the country's current account balance, Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo said that persistent global uncertainty (referring to the looming US Fed Fund Rate hike and China's slowdown) justifies the tight monetary stance.

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  • Does Bank Indonesia Have Room to Cut its Key Interest Rate?

    As Indonesia's inflation rate has eased to 6.25 percent (y/y) in October 2015 from 6.83 percent (y/y) in the previous month, and given that Indonesian inflation will ease more markedly in the last two months of 2015 as the impact of the subsidized fuel price hike in November 2014 will vanish, the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) seems to have more scope to cut its current relatively high benchmark interest rate, hence giving rise to accelerated economic activity.

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