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Today's Headlines Bank Indonesia

  • Indonesia’s Current Account Deficit Improves to 1.8% of GDP in Q1-2015

    The central bank (Bank Indonesia) announced on Friday (15/05) that Indonesia’s current account deficit narrowed to USD $3.8 billion, or, 1.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2015. Although this result is slightly higher than Bank Indonesia’s estimation (1.6 percent of GDP), it was lower than the current account deficits in Q4-2014 (2.6 percent of GDP) or Q1-2014 (1.9 percent). This positive performance was mainly caused by a narrowing deficit in the country’s oil & gas trade balance.

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  • Dilemma Bank Indonesia: To Cut Interest Rates or Not?

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) is currently dealing with a dilemma. On the one hand, its relatively high interest rate environment (with the benchmark BI rate at 7.50 percent) is partly responsible for the country’s slowing economic growth as credit expansion is curtailed and economic activity declines. On the other hand, Bank Indonesia’s high BI rate is needed to safeguard Indonesia’s financial stability as inflation is still above the central bank’s target, the current account deficit nearly unsustainable, and capital outflows loom.

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  • Foreign Exchange Reserves Indonesia Fall on Debt Payment & Rupiah Support

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced on Friday (08/05) that the country’s foreign exchange reserves fell approximately USD $700 million to USD $110.87 billion at the end of April 2015 (from USD $111.55 billion one month earlier). The decline was due to government foreign debt payments as well as central bank efforts to stabilize the rupiah currency amid the current volatile and uncertain (global and domestic) economic context. In April, the rupiah appreciated 0.8 percent against the US dollar.

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  • Bank Indonesia Expects to See an Improving Current Account in Q1-2015

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects that the country’s current account deficit has eased to 1.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2015. This estimate is lower than the institution’s initial forecast of 2 percent of GDP. Main reason for this more optimistic view is that Indonesia experienced a USD $2.43 billion trade surplus in the first quarter of 2015. Particularly the unexpectedly-wide USD $1.13 billion trade surplus in March will manage to ease pressures on the country’s current account.

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  • Interest Rate Environment Left Unchanged By Bank Indonesia

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) decided to maintain its key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent at Tuesday’s Board of Governors’ Meeting (14 April 2015). The institution also left its deposit facility and lending facility at 5.50 percent and 8.00 percent, respectively. Bank Indonesia considers this level to be effective in order to push the country’s inflation rate back into its target range of 3-5 percent (y/y) in both 2015 and 2016. It is also convinced that this interest rate environment will improve the current account balance.

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  • Bank Indonesia Used Foreign Exchange Reserves to Support Rupiah

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced that the country’s foreign exchange reserves fell by USD $3.9 billion to USD $111.6 billion at the end of March 2015 as the central bank used part of the forex reserves to support the Indonesian rupiah which had started to depreciate markedly due to bullish US dollar momentum amid further looming monetary tightening in the USA. The rupiah had fallen to a 17-year low of IDR 13,237 per US dollar in mid-March as market players are anticipating an interest rate hike in the USA.

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  • Inflation Update Indonesia: Higher Fuel Prices Cause Inflationary Pressure

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) estimates that Indonesia’s inflation rate in March will be around 0.3 to 0.4 percent month-to-month (m/m), slightly higher than its earlier forecast of around 0.28 percent (m/m). Later this week, Statistics Indonesia will release the country’s March inflation figure. In February inflation eased to 6.29 percent year-on-year (y/y) - from 6.96 percent (y/y) in the preceding month - amid declining fuel and food prices despite some inflationary pressures caused by higher rice prices.

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  • Indonesian Currency Update: Stronger Rupiah, Weaker US Dollar

    Indonesia’s rupiah exchange rate started the week on a firm tone as the US dollar weakened amid uncertainty over the timing of higher US interest rates. Contrary to initial expectation, the latest Federal Reserve meeting (held on 17-18 March) did not indicate that there will be a quick interest rate hike in the world’s largest economy hence boosting appetite for emerging market assets. In addition, the Indonesian government and central bank (Bank Indonesia) pledged to safeguard rupiah stability.

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  • Central Bank of Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 7.50% in March

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) decided to maintain its benchmark interest rate at 7.50 percent at today’s Board of Governors’ Meeting. The overnight deposit facility rate and lending facility rate were maintained at 5.50 percent and 8.00 percent, respectively. Bank Indonesia considers that the current interest rate environment is in line with its target to push inflation within its target range of 3.0-5.0 percent (y/y) in 2015 and to curb the country’s current account deficit to a range of 2.5-3.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

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  • Indonesian Gvt to Implement Measures to Combat Current Account Deficit

    After a series of good economic data (particularly US employment) the market expects that the Federal Reserve will raise its key interest rate in the second or third quarter of 2015 thus providing ammunition for bullish US dollar momentum (hovering at an 11-years high). Due to the expected higher yield in the USA, capital is flowing back to the world’s largest economy at the expense of emerging market currencies, including the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate which has depreciated 6 percent against the US dollar this year so far.

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Latest Columns Bank Indonesia

  • Bank Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 4.75% in May 2017, Analysis

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) maintained its benchmark interest rate - the 7-day reverse repurchase rate - at 4.75 percent at the policy meeting on 17-18 May 2017, a decision that is in line with analysts' forecasts. Bank Indonesia said the decision is consistent with its efforts to maintain macroeconomic and financial system stability "by driving the domestic economic recovery process", while continue to monitor external threats stemming from US policy directions and geopolitical conditions, specifically in the Korea Peninsula, as well as domestic threats stemming from inflationary pressures and ongoing consolidation in the banking and corporate sectors.

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  • Indonesia's Current Account Deficit Improves in Q1-2017

    Data from the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) show Indonesia's current account deficit widened modestly to USD $2.4 billion (or 1.0 percent of Indonesia's gross domestic product, GDP) in the first quarter of 2017. This increase was driven by rising deficits in the oil & gas trade balance and primary income. In the last quarter of 2016 the current account deficit was at (an upward revised) 0.9 percent of GDP. Despite slight widening, Indonesia's current account balance is regarded as being in a healthy state, especially considering the major improvement compared to Q1-2016.

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  • Central Bank of Indonesia Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged in April

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) kept its benchmark interest rate (seven-day reverse repo rate) at 4.75 percent at the April policy meeting (19-20 April 2017), while its deposit facility rate and lending facility rate stayed at 4.00 percent and 5.50 percent, respectively. Bank Indonesia considers the current interest rate environment appropriate to face global uncertainties as well as rising inflationary pressures at home.

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  • Bank Indonesia Keeps Key Interest Rate at 4.75% in March 2017

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) left its interest rate policy unchanged at the March 2017 policy meeting. This decision was in line with expectations especially after Bank Indonesia officials had stated that they see few room for monetary easing in the foreseeable future considering the US Federal Reserve is likely to raise its key rate several times this year (which could encourage capital outflows from Indonesia), while inflationary pressures in Indonesia are rising.

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  • Bank Indonesia May Not Cut Interest Rates Further for a Long Time

    Bank Indonesia, the central bank of Indonesia, decided to maintain its benchmark interest rate, the BI 7-day (Reverse) Repo Rate (BI-7 day RR Rate), at 4.75 percent at the February 2017 policy meeting as Indonesia's inflation rate is expected to rise amid growing domestic demand and administered price adjustments, while the central bank also tries to mitigate the impact of looming normalization of US interest rates (expected later this year). Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia kept its deposit facility and lending facility rates at 4.00 percent and 5.50 percent, respectively.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Balance of Payments Surplus at $4.5 billion in Q4-2016

    Bank Indonesia, the central bank of Indonesia, announced on Friday (10/02) that Indonesia's balance of payments surplus reached USD $4.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 as the capital and financial accounts' surplus managed to (more than) compensate for the USD $1.8 billion current account deficit (or 0.8 percent of the country's gross domestic product/GDP) in the same quarter. Regarding full-year 2016, Indonesia posted a USD $12.1 billion surplus in its balance of payments, while its current account deficit was equivalent to 1.8 percent of GDP.

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  • Bank Indonesia Kept Interest Rates Unchanged on Capital Outflow Risk

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) decided to leave its interest rate environment unchanged at the January 2017 policy meeting on Thursday (19/01). The benchmark seven-day reverse repurchase rate (BI 7-day RR Rate) was kept at 4.75 percent, while the Deposit Facility and Lending Facility rates were maintained at 4.00 percent and 5.50 percent, respectively. The decisions of Bank Indonesia are in line with analysts' forecasts. Due to risks of capital outflows Indonesia's central bank had few room to ease monetary policy.

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  • Impact of Fed's Interest Rate Hike on the Value of Indonesia's Rupiah

    Stock markets in Asia are mixed, yet tepid on Friday (16/12) after the US Federal Reserve raised its interest rate regime for the second time in a decade on Wednesday (14/12). Although the Fed's move was widely anticipated (and therefore already "priced in" to a high degree) it still resulted in some capital outflows from Asia's stock markets on Thursday (13/12). Japan, as usual, is the notable exception as US dollar strength (or yen weakness) makes Japan's export-oriented stocks more attractive.

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  • Bank Indonesia Keeps Interest Rate Unchanged at December Meeting

    Bank Indonesia, the central bank of Indonesia, kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the December 2016 policy meeting, nearly a day after the US Federal Reserve decided to raise its key Fed Funds Rate by 25 basis points to the range 0.50 - 0.75 percent. Moves of both central banks were expected. Monetary tightening in the USA triggers capital outflows from emerging markets (the Indonesian rupiah depreciated around 0.70 percent against the US dollar on Thursday). Therefore, Bank Indonesia had little room to seek monetary easing.

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  • Bank of Indonesia: Assessing Impact of Sudden Rate Cut

    The Bank of Indonesia recently resorted to a sudden cut in interest rate (by 25 bps to 4.75 percent) at its 20th October 2016 meeting. This followed a 25 bps reduction in September and thus this is the sixth time this year that the Indonesian central bank has elected to loosen monetary policy.

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