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Today's Headlines Agus Martowardojo

  • Bank Indonesia Revises Down Economic Growth Outlook to 5.1%

    Bank Indonesia Revises Down Economic Growth Outlook to 5.1%

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) revised down its economic growth outlook for Indonesia in 2015. In a meeting with the House of Representatives’ Budget Committee, Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo said that Indonesia’s GDP growth is expected to reach 5.1 percent (y/y) this year. Previously, the central bank projected economic growth in the range of 5.4 to 5.8 percent (y/y). However, after seeing weak growth in the first quarter (4.71 percent y/y), projections had to be revised.

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

    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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  • What is Next for the Indonesian Economy in 2015?

    What is Next for the Indonesian Economy in 2015?

    After seeing the disappointing GDP growth figure of 4.71 percent (y/y) in the first quarter of 2015, investors have become concerned about Indonesia’s economic growth in the remainder of the year. The poor Q1-2015 GDP growth was caused by the country’s weak export performance (due to the sluggish global economy and low commodity prices), Indonesia’s high interest rate environment (curbing people’s purchasing power and business expansion of local companies), and sluggish government spending.

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  • Rupiah Update: Indonesian Authorities Say ‘No Need for Alarm’

    Rupiah Update: Indonesian Authorities Say ‘No Need for Alarm’

    As the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated beyond the psychologically-sensitive IDR 13,000 per USD threshold on Wednesday (05/03), both Indonesian Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro and Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo stated that there is no need for panic as the performance of the rupiah against the US dollar is still in line with the performance of other currencies versus the US dollar. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah had depreciated 0.28 percent to IDR 13,028 by 13:35 pm local Jakarta time.

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  • Bank Indonesia Comfortable with Weak Rupiah to Improve Current Account

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.79 percent to IDR 12,932 per US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index on Friday (27/02), its weakest level since end 2008, after the country’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) said it would not intervene too much to support the currency. Bank Indonesia said that it has no target level for the rupiah and will not go against the market. For the market these are signals that the central bank is comfortable with a weaker currency as that would improve the trade balance.

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  • Inflation Outlook Indonesia January 2015: Impact of Fuel Policy

    Inflation in Indonesia is expected to have eased to 7.50 percent year-on-year (y/y) in January 2015 on the back of cheaper domestic fuel prices (triggered by sliding global oil prices). The month-on-month pace (m/m) in the first month of 2015 may have tumbled to near zero percent from 2.46 percent (m/m) in December 2014. Last year, Indonesian inflation had accelerated to 8.36 percent (y/y) primarily due to the implementation of higher prices for government administered low-octane gasoline and diesel in November 2014.

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  • Indonesian Authorities Revise Economic Assumptions in 2015 Budget

    Indonesian Authorities Agree on Revised Economic Assumptions in 2015 Budget

    The Indonesian government, central bank (Bank Indonesia) and Commission XI of the House of Representatives (DPR) agreed to revise several macroeconomic targets in the Revised 2015 State Budget (APBN-P 2015). The revisions include the country’s economic growth (GDP) pace, the average rupiah exchange rate, and inflation target. In essence, the revisions indicate that Indonesian authorities have become less optimistic about the Indonesian economy in 2015 amid external pressures.

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  • Challenges to the Indonesian Economy: Global Oil Price & US Normalization

    Challenges to the Indonesian Economy: Global Oil Price & US Normalization

    Governor of Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) Agus Martowardojo said that there are two main global challenges that are being faced by Southeast Asia’s largest economy and which can impact negatively on the nation’s economy. These challenges are the low global oil prices (which have fallen below USD $50 per barrel) and the monetary policy normalization of the US Federal Reserve amid the structural economic recovery of the USA. This policy involves higher US interest rates (expected in the second half of 2015) and a bullish US dollar.

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  • Update Indonesia: Interest Rate, Fuel Subsidies & Current Account Deficit

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced today (after the Board of Governors’ meeting) that it keeps the benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent. The lending facility rate and the deposit rate are maintained at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively. Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Bank Indonesia, said that interest rates were maintained as the country’s current account deficit narrowed to 3.07 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter of 2014.

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  • Indonesia’s October Inflation: Fuel Subsidies and Volatile Food Prices

    Indonesia’s inflation figure this October may reach the highest level in five years primarily due to volatile food prices triggered by drought in several parts of Indonesia. Chili, in particular, has shown a widening gap between domestic demand and production thus adding inflationary pressures in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. The country’s central bank expects that the inflation figure may reach 0.4 percent (month-on-month, m/m), considerably higher than the historic average in October.

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Latest Columns Agus Martowardojo

  • Bank Indonesia Conducts Ad Hoc Press Conference on Rupiah Movement

    Bank Indonesia Conducts Ad Hoc Press Conference on Rupiah Movement

    In an ad hoc press conference on Thursday (26/04) Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo provided an update on the performance of the Indonesian rupiah as well as an update on the strategies that are - or can be - used by the central bank to safeguard a stable rupiah. When the ad hoc press conference was announced we initially expected to see an interest rate hike. However, based on a statement from Bank Indonesia, this seems to be the last option the central bank wants to use.

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

    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 Cut Interest Rates Again in October 2016

    Bank Indonesia Cut Interest Rates Again in October 2016

    Bank Indonesia surprised markets. On Thursday (20/10) the central bank of Southeast Asia's largest economy cut its benchmark interest rate - the BI 7-day reverse repo rate - by 25 basis points to 4.75 percent. Meanwhile, both the deposit facility and lending facility were also cut by 25 basis points to 4.00 percent and 5.50 percent, respectively. Perhaps it was Bank Indonesia's present to Indonesian President Joko Widodo for the two-year anniversary of his government. A lower interest rate climate should encourage macroeconomic expansion.

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  • Bank Indonesia Cuts Key Interest Rates Again in September

    Bank Indonesia Cuts Key Interest Rates Again in September

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) cut its benchmark BI 7-day Reverse Repo rate (RR rate) by 25 basis points to 5 percent at the policy meeting that was concluded on Thursday (22/09). The lender of last resort also cut the Deposit and Lending Facility rates¹ by 25 basis points to 4.25 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively. Given the stable domestic economy, Bank Indonesia is able to allow a loser monetary policy hence providing more room for accelerated economic growth amid a still uncertain global economic context.

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  • Bank Indonesia Revises Down 2016 Economic Growth Projection

    Bank Indonesia Revises Down 2016 Economic Growth Projection

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) revised down its projection for Indonesia's economic growth in 2016 to the range of 5.0 - 5.4 percent (y/y), slightly below its previous forecast in the range of 5.2 - 5.6 percent (y/y). Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo said the central bank decided to trim its projection for gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year due to sluggish global economic growth, low commodity prices, and Indonesia's slightly disappointing Q1-2016 GDP growth figure at 4.92 percent (y/y).

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

    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

    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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  • Bank Indonesia Expects Deflation in February 2016

    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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  • Economic Update Indonesia: November Inflation Expected at 0.2%

    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

    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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