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Today's Headlines Bank Indonesia

  • 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

    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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  • Ahead of Ramadan and Idul Fitri, Indonesia´s Retail Sales Grow 14.8%

    Ahead of Ramadan and Idul Fitri, Indonesia´s Retail Sales Grow 14.8%

    Data from Indonesia´s central bank, Bank Indonesia, indicate that Indonesia´s retail sales grew 14.8 percent in June 2013 compared to the same month last year. The growth was higher than expected. Previously, a survey among Indonesian retailers showed that a growth rate of 10.8 percent was expected in June. In May 2013, retail sales had climbed about 12 percent (YoY). As such, these numbers are evidence of growing domestic consumption led by the country´s rapidly expanding middle class.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Inflation is Expected to Stay Above 8% in 2013

    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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  • Indonesia's Economic Growth Expected at 6.1% in Semester I-2013

    According to Finance minister Chatib Basri, the Indonesian government expects the country's gross domestic product (GDP) to have grown by 6.1 percent in the first six months of 2013. This forecast falls short of the government's 6.3 percent GDP growth assumption in the state budget (APBN). Basri stated that the lower outcome is due to global factors, such as slowing economic growth in China and India. But the government's assumption is more optimistic than the forecast of the central bank, which expects growth between 5.1 and 5.9 percent.

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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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  • Weakening of Indonesian Rupiah Against US Dollar is Part of Global Trend

    According to various analysts and the central bank of Indonesia, the weakening of the IDR rupiah should not be too alarming as there currently is a global trend in which currencies, worldwide, weaken against the US Dollar. This situation is triggered by the economic recovery that has been experienced by the world's largest economy recently. Compared to other ASEAN members, the rupiah's decline is normal. The central bank adds that foreign capital inflows will return and will strengthen the country's currency.

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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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Latest Columns Bank Indonesia

  • Macroeconomic Stability Indonesia: Inflation and GDP Update

    The Governor of Indonesia’s central bank, Agus Martowardojo, said that he expects inflation to accelerate to 6.1 percent year-on-year (y/y) in November 2014, significantly up from 4.83 percent y/y in the previous month. Accelerated inflation is caused by the multiplier effect triggered by the recent subsidized fuel price hike in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. On 18 November 2014, the government introduced higher prices for subsidized fuels in a bid to reallocate public spending from fuel consumption to structural development.

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  • Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Bank Indonesia Active in Market?

    Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Bank Indonesia Active in Market?

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.09 percent to IDR 12,164 per US dollar on Tuesday (25/11) according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index. The performance is caused by local companies’ month-end US dollar demand as well as US dollar buying by Indonesia’s central bank. Although unconfirmed, it is speculated that the central bank is boosting its foreign exchange reserves ahead of a looming external shock triggered by higher US interest rates in the second or third quarter of 2015.

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  • Financial Update: Foreign Debt of Indonesia Continues to Rise

    Total foreign outstanding debt of Indonesia continues to grow at a robust pace. Based on data from the country’s central bank, total external debt rose 11.2 percent year-on-year to USD $292 billion at the end of September 2014 as private Indonesian companies have been eager to seek lower interest rates abroad. Privately-held foreign debt was up 14 percent y/y to USD $159.3 billion at end-September. Central Bank official Tirta Segara said that private sector debt is concentrated in the financial, manufacturing and mining sectors.

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  • Bank Indonesia Forces Companies to Hedge Foreign Debt

    Bank Indonesia Forces Companies to Hedge Foreign Debt

    Non-bank corporations in Indonesia that hold external (foreign-denominated) debt will be forced to hedge their foreign exchange holdings against the Indonesian rupiah with a ratio of 20 percent in the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015 in an effort to limit risks stemming from increased private sector external debt. At end-August 2014, privately-held foreign debt stood at USD $156.2 billion (53.8 percent of the country’s total external debt), increasing three-fold from end-2005 and thus jeopardizing macroeconomic stability.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Current Account Deficit Improved in 3rd Quarter 2014

    Bank Indonesia: Current Account Deficit Improved in 3rd Quarter 2014

    The wide current account deficit of Indonesia is expected to have eased in the third quarter of 2014. According to information from the country’s central bank, the current account deficit narrowed to 3.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in Q3-2014 from 4.27 percent of GDP in the previous quarter. A deficit below the level of 3 percent of GDP is generally regarded as a sustainable level. The improvement in Q3-2014 is mainly due to resumed mineral exports after the government and several miners managed to finalize renegotiations.

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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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  • Rupiah Update Indonesia: Central Bank Ready to Intervene

    Rupiah Update Indonesia: Central Bank Ready to Intervene

    Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo said that although the recent weakening trend of the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate is in line with the performance of other Asian currencies, the central bank is prepared to intervene in the market in an effort to support the currency and keep it in a comfortable range. On Monday (06/10), Bank Indonesia Executive Director Tirta Segara already stated that foreign exchange intervention was conducted in September 2014 in order to stabilize the rupiah exchange rate.

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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: Current Account Deficit Eases Slightly in 2014

    Bank Indonesia: Current Account Deficit Eases Slightly in 2014

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects that the country’s current account deficit will only ease slightly in 2014. Last year, the deficit reached 3.3 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP), a level which is generally considered unsustainable and leads to reduced investor confidence. Countries that have to cope with a wide current account deficit, such as Indonesia and India, are highly vulnerable in times of global shocks as investors will quickly withdraw their investments from assets in these countries.

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