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Today's Headlines Rupiah

Latest Columns Rupiah

  • 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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  • Hot Money Flowing into Indonesia's Bond & Stock Market. A Concern?

    Some concern has been raised about the inflow of foreign 'hot money' into Indonesia amid accomodative monetary policies conducted by central banks of the Eurozone and Japan (the latter implemented negative interest rates in late-January). The world's carry traders are now seeking cheap funds in advanced economies and invest these funds in assets that have attractive returns such as Indonesian bonds and stocks. Indonesia's benchmark interest rate (BI rate) is still relatively high at 7.0 percent after a 25 basis points cut at Bank Indonesia's February 2016 policy meeting.

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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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  • Outlook Indonesia's Car Sales in 2016: Optimistic or Pessimistic?

    Whereas the Indonesian Automotive Industry Association (Gaikindo), expects Indonesia's car sales to rise five percent (y/y) in 2016 on the back of improving economic conditions, US-based consulting firm Frost & Sullivan expects to see a 4.3 percent decline in the country's car sales this year as continued rupiah depreciation and persistently low commodity prices undermine Indonesians' purchasing power.

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  • Rupiah Likely to Remain Under Pressure

    Broad market trends in the Indonesian rupiah have held relatively consistent over the last year, with a modest devaluation seen against the US dollar. We did see fluctuations in these trends during the summer months but many of these moves came as a result of external influences. One of the best examples here is the media turmoil that posted during this period with respect to a slowdown in the Chinese economy, and this has left many investors wondering whether the rupiah will be able to stand on its own merits and reverse some of its earlier weakness.

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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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  • US Dollar to Dictate Asian Currency Moves in 2016

    The financial markets have had an interesting year in 2015, with several significant surprises seen in the major asset classes. On the whole, 2015 could probably be best described as a year of stabilizing with stocks and commodities holding mostly steady throughout the period. This has been largely true in the currency markets, as well. But there are some factors that are likely to influence trends for world currencies in new ways in 2016. Central banks in some regions will likely have significant influence in others, and investors will need to remain aware of the possibilities early in order to position for potential trend chances in critical areas.

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  • Ace Hardware Indonesia Plagued by Weak Rupiah & Purchasing Power

    Ace Hardware Indonesia, one of Indonesia's leading retail companies that is engaged in the markets of home improvement and lifestyle products, is expected to show modest (single-digit) growth in 2016. Same store sales growth is estimated to grow in the range of 8-10 percent year-on-year (y/y). This modest performance is caused by weak purchasing power in Indonesia amid sluggish economic growth and due to the fragile rupiah (against the US dollar).

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  • Automotive Industry Indonesia Too Dependent on Imported Raw Materials

    The structure of Indonesia's automotive industry remains weak as it is too dependent on imports of raw materials, making sales prices of cars highly vulnerable to the volatile Indonesian rupiah. The automotive industry has been one of the many local industries that has been plagued by Indonesia's economic slowdown and fragile rupiah (amid looming tighter monetary policy in the USA) as people's purchasing power has weakened. In the first ten months of 2015, Indonesian car sales stood at a total of 853,008 units, down 18 percent from car sales in the same period last year.

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  • Indonesia Stock Market & Rupiah Update: US Payrolls & Rate Hike Expectations Surge

    Indonesian assets weakened on Friday (06/11) on expectation that US non-farm payrolls and US employment data would improve, suggesting that a Fed Fund Rate hike may occur in December 2015. Such expectations were correct. After Indonesian and other Asian markets had closed on Friday, the US Labor Department announced that October payrolls rose 271,000 (the largest increase this year), while the US unemployment rate touched a seven-year low at 5 percent. Furthermore, the average hourly earnings over the past 12 months climbed by the most since 2009.

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