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Today's Headlines Agus Martowardojo

  • Bank Indonesia’s Governor Supports Higher Subsidized Fuel Prices

    Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Bank Indonesia, is highly supportive of president-elect Joko Widodo’s plan to increase prices of subsidized fuels before the end of the year as this move would help to diminish the country’s structural current account deficit as well as improve the trade balance. Widodo, who will assume office on 20 October 2014, is expected to raise prices of subsidized fuels by between IDR 1,000 and 3,000 per liter, and relocate state funds to social and economic development.

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  • Revising Regulations to Enhance Indonesia’s Foreign Exchange Trading

    Nanang Hendarsah, Deputy of Bank Indonesia’s financial task force, said that the central bank of Indonesia will issue two new regulations this week in an attempt to boost foreign exchange (FX) transactions in Indonesia by simplifying the bank’s previous regulations issued in 2005 and 2008 (PBI No. 10/28 on FX purchase at banks and PBI No. 10/37 on netting restrictions). Recent data from Bank Indonesia show that the amount of FX transactions in Indonesia has been lower compared to those recorded by its regional peers.

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  • Bank Indonesia’s Monetary Policy Tight until Current Account Balance Improves

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) indicated that it will only loosen its monetary policy provided that the country’s current account deficit narrows to a level of 2.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which is considered sustainable, and inflation is kept within the range of 3.5 to 5.5 percent (year-on-year) in line with the central bank’s target range. The current account deficit is one of the main problems being faced by Southeast Asia’s largest economy today and causes concern among foreign and domestic investors.

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  • Inflation in Indonesia Achieves Target unless Subsidized Fuel Prices Increase

    Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo expects that inflation in July 2014 will be under control. However, there are several factors that trigger inflationary pressures. These include the holy Islamic fasting month Ramadan and subsequent Idul Fitri celebrations at the month-end, as well as higher electricity tariffs and the start of the new school season (inflation in July is traditionally higher than in other months due to seasonal factors). Martowardojo still believes that the year-end inflation target 3.5 to 5.5 percent can be achieved.

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  • A Forecast on Indonesia’s May Trade Balance and June Inflation

    Indonesian Finance Minister Chatib Basri estimates that the trade balance of Indonesia may post an USD $500 million surplus in May 2014 amid improved performance of the country’s crude palm oil (CPO) exports, both in terms of price and volume (crude palm oil being one of the most important foreign exchange earners of Indonesia). Concern about Indonesia’s trade balance (and current account balance) had returned after Indonesia recorded an USD $1.96 billion deficit in the previous month.

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  • Bank Indonesia and World Bank: How to Escape the Middle Income Trap?

    Bank Indonesia and World Bank: How to Escape the Middle Income Trap?

    The Governor of Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia), Agus Martowardojo, said that the Indonesian economy can grow more than six percent provided that several important structural reforms will be implemented in order to avoid the middle income trap. This trap occurs when rapidly growing economies stagnate at middle-income levels for many years, thereby failing to reach a high income level (as has been the case with Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and other middle income countries from the early 1980s to the mid-2000s).

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  • Indonesia Financial Update: May 2014 Trade Balance and June 2014 Inflation

    Indonesia Financial Update: May 2014 Trade Balance and June 2014 Inflation

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects to see a trade surplus in May 2014. Governor of Bank Indonesia Agus Martowardojo stated that he is optimistic that Indonesia’s trade balance will show positive growth after recording a shocking deficit of USD $1.96 billion in April 2014. This deficit was mainly the result of weak global demand for crude palm oil and coal, both of which are Indonesia’s most important foreign exchange earners in the non-oil & gas sector. However, this global demand is expected to have remained weak in May.

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  • Indonesia Susceptible to Capital Outflows due to Improving US Economy

    An improving US economy can lead to capital outflows worth IDR 130 trillion (US $11.2 billion) from Indonesia as funds are expected to flow back to the USA when interest rates are raised. Since 2009, emerging markets, including Indonesia, benefited from capital inflows amid large monetary stimulus provided by the Federal Reserve (quantitative easing as well as low interest rates). Although the stimulus was aimed at boosting the US economy, emerging markets felt the side effects (such as capital inflows and appreciating emerging market currencies).

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  • Financial Update Indonesia: Rupiah, Current Account and Bonds Issuance

    Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) said that it expects the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate to trade between IDR 11,600 and IDR 11,800 per US dollar throughout the fiscal year of 2014. Governor of Bank Indonesia Agus Martowardojo said that this assumption is based on pressures that originate from Indonesia's current account deficit. In 2013, the current account deficit hit USD $29.09 billion, or 3.33 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). The current account balance has a major influence on the performance of a currency.

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  • Bank Indonesia Expects Trade Deficit in April and Low Inflation in May

    Central Bank of Indonesia Expects Trade Deficit in April 2014

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects to see a trade deficit in the month of April 2014 due to a significant increase of imports (around 11 percent month-to-month), while prices of a number of important export commodities have been under pressure (including coal and crude palm oil). Governor of Bank Indonesia Agus Martowardojo said that weak demand from China impacts negatively on the trade balance. Bank Indonesia's statement contradicts the institution's earlier statement which hinted at a surplus of USD $600 million in April.

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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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