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Today's Headlines Global Economy

  • 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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  • World Bank Report: Latest East Asia Pacific Economic Update

    World Bank Report: Latest East Asia Pacific Economic Update

    In the latest edition of the East Asia Pacific Economic Update, released on Monday (13 April 2015), the World Bank revised down its economic growth forecast for developing East Asia & China to 6.7 percent year-on-year (y/y) in 2015 and 2016 from its previous assumption of 6.9 percent growth (y/y) in 2015 and 6.8 percent (y/y) in 2016. The main reason for this downward revision is the global uncertain economic context, which includes the impact of looming higher US interest rates and the appreciating US dollar.

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  • S&P Awaiting Results from Indonesia’s Economic Policy Reforms

    S&P Awaiting Results from Indonesia’s Economic Policy Reforms

    Global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s remains the only credit rating agency among the big three to maintain its BB+/stable rating on Indonesia’s sovereign credit (which is one notch below investment grade). Both Fitch Ratings (BBB-/stable) and Moody’s Investor Service (Baa3/stable) had already brought Indonesia back to investment grade in 2011 and 2012. Standard & Poor’s has been reluctant to raise Indonesia’s status as it wants to see more results from the country’s economic policy reforms.

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  • Earnings Indonesian Coal Miners Down on Weak Global Coal Prices

    Earnings Indonesian Coal Miners Down on Weak Global Coal Prices

    Corporate earnings of Indonesian coal miners that are listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) have generally weakened in 2014, evidencing that the coal mining industry, which was a lucrative business in the 2000s during the commodities boom (until 2011), is still experiencing a slowdown amid global economic trouble. The sluggish global economy has resulted in weak demand for commodities such as coal and crude palm oil (two important foreign exchange earners of Indonesia). Particularly slowing economic growth in China is a concern.

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  • IMF & Moody’s Outlook on the Indonesian and World Economy

    IMF & Moody’s Outlook on the Indonesian and World Economy

    Benedict Bingham, Senior Resident Representative for Indonesia at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), expects that the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) will remain committed to the tighter monetary policy in a bid to safeguard the country’s fiscal fundamentals amid external pressures. Apart from sluggish global economic growth, the looming interest rate hike in the USA (later this year) is expected to rock Indonesia as it will trigger capital outflows from emerging markets.

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  • Economic Growth of Indonesia Hits Five-Year Low at 5.02% in 2014

    Economic Growth of Indonesia Hits Five-Year Low at 5.02% in 2014

    The economy of Indonesia expanded 5.02 percent year-on-year (y/y) to IDR 8,354 trillion (USD $664 billion) in 2014, the nation’s slowest annual growth pace since 2009, according to the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS). As such, GDP growth failed to achieve the central government’s 5.5 percentage point growth target that was set in the 2014 State Budget. Indonesia’s economic growth has been slowing since 2011 when it still posted a 6.5 percentage point growth rate (y/y). However, growth is expected to rebound from here.

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  • Crude Palm Oil Update Indonesia: Outlook CPO Export Not too Great

    Crude Palm Oil Update Indonesia: Outlook CPO Export Not too Great

    The Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (Gapki) believes that it is difficult for Indonesia to achieve the government’s target of collecting USD $36 billion by 2019 through crude palm oil (CPO) exports as several government policies disturb the performance of CPO exports. Moreover, global commodity prices (including palm oil) are still showing a downward trend - hence limiting foreign exchange earnings - as global economic growth remains sluggish. Economic growth of China, a major CPO importer, is expected to slow further this year.

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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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  • Key Interest Rate: Bank Indonesia Maintains BI Rate at 7.75%

    Key Interest Rate: Bank Indonesia Maintains BI Rate at 7.75%

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) decided to keep its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.75 percent at its Board of Governors’ Meeting on Thursday (15/01). The country’s Lending Facility and Deposit Facility were maintained at 8.00 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively. According to the bank this interest rate environment is sufficient to push inflation, which has accelerated to 8.36 percent year-on-year (y/y) in December due to fuel subsidy reforms, back towards its target of 3 to 5 percent (y/y) in 2015.

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Latest Columns Global Economy

  • Economy of Indonesia: Economic Growth at 4.73% y/y in Q3-2015 - Analysis

    Economy of Indonesia: Economic Growth at 4.73% y/y in Q3-2015 - Analysis

    Indonesia's economic performance in the third quarter of 2015 was a bit disappointing as the 4.73 percent year-on-year (y/y) growth pace in Q3-2015 was slightly below market expectations at 4.8 percent (y/y). On a positive note, however, Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP) growth accelerated from the six-year low of 4.67 percent (y/y) in the preceding quarter. A look at the table below shows that Indonesia's third quarter GDP growth rarely outpaces growth in the second quarter. This is a hopeful sign indeed.

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  • World Bank Releases October 2015 Indonesia Economic Quarterly

    World Bank Releases October 2015 Indonesia Economic Quarterly

    Today (22/10), the World Bank released the October 2015 edition of its flagship Indonesia Economic Quarterly, titled "In Times of Global Volatility". In the report the World Bank states that despite current ongoing global uncertainties (caused by looming monetary tightening in the USA and China's economic slowdown), which make macroeconomic management difficult in the year ahead, pro-active government action could offset the negative impact and may help to boost growth.

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  • How Will Global Uncertainties Impact Indonesian Markets?

    How Will Global Uncertainties Impact Indonesian Markets?

    For a good portion of this year, the stock market in Indonesia has been met with selling pressure. There is a reasonable basis for this, as we have seen some disappointments in corporate earnings that have led some of the biggest names in the country to trade lower. But there are external events at work, as well. And some of these factors might not be readily apparent to many regional investors. One of these is the sovereign debt situation in the Eurozone.

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  • Bank Indonesia Lowers Key Interest Rate in Surprise Move

    In a surprise move, the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) decided to lower its key interest rate (BI rate) by 25 basis points to 7.50 percent at the Board of Governor’s Meeting on Tuesday (17/02). The deposit facility rate (Fasbi) was also lowered by 25 basis points (to 5.50 percent), while the lending facility rate remained steady at 8.00 percent. In a press release the central bank stated that the current policy direction is estimated to moderate the country’s wide current account deficit further, while inflation remains under control.

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  • IMF Downgrades Global Economic Growth, China at 24-Year Low

    There was few good news from a global economic perspective as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) sharply cut its outlook for global economic growth in the next two years. According to the IMF, global economic growth will only reach 3.5 percent (y/y) in 2015 and 3.7 percent in 2016 due to poorer prospects in China, Russia, the Eurozone, and Japan. Economic growth of China (the world’s second-largest economy) fell to a 24-year low at 7.4 percent year-on-year (y/y) in 2014, below the government target of 7.5 percent (y/y).

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  • Indonesia Investment Summit 2015: Structural Reforms Needed

    At the Indonesia Investment Summit 2015, organized in Jakarta on 15-16 January 2015, Bank Indonesia official Arief Mahmud presented several views of the central bank on the current Indonesian economy and the global and domestic challenges that it faces. As is widely known, Indonesia has been experiencing a process of slowing economic growth since 2011 due to sluggish global economic growth in combination with the rebalancing of the domestic economy. However, growth is expected to accelerate in 2015.

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  • Stock Market Indonesia Update: Up but Downward Pressures Remain

    Stock Market Indonesia Update: Up but Downward Pressures Remain

    As several Asian stock indices rebounded on Wednesday (07/01) Indonesia’s benchmark Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) was able to rise as well. Investors purchased Indonesian blue chips which were considered relatively cheap after two days of decline. However, this may be speculative (short-term) buying as there are still no real domestic or foreign factors that can provide structural support. As such, there is a real possibility that Indonesia’s benchmark index will be back into red territory tomorrow.

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  • Analysis of Indonesia’s Dec Inflation and Nov Trade Balance

    Analysis of Indonesia’s Dec Inflation and Nov Trade Balance

    Indonesia’s inflation pace accelerated in December 2014, exceeding estimations of analysts and Indonesia’s central bank. December inflation, 2.46 percent (m/m) or 8.36 percent (y/y), accelerated due to the impact of higher subsidized fuel prices (introduced in November) and volatile food prices (fluctuating rice and chili prices at the year-end). Other factors that contributed to high inflation in 2014 were higher electricity tariffs for households and industries, the higher price of 12 kg LPG, and an airfare adjustment.

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  • Prudent Fiscal Management; IMF Positive about Indonesian Economy

    Prudent Fiscal Management; IMF Positive about Indonesian Economy

    A team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by David Cowen (advisor at the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department), visited several Indonesian cities in the first three weeks of December 2014 to conduct research on the economic fundamentals of Southeast Asia’s largest economy. This research included the study of recent macroeconomic developments as well as the formulation of prognosis scenarios for the short and middle term. The IMF team held discussions with the government, Bank Indonesia, private entrepreneurs and scholars.

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  • Indonesia Needs +7% GDP Growth to Become High Income Country by 2030

    In order to avoid the middle-income trap and join the ranks of the high income countries by 2030 (reaching a per capita income level of at least USD $12,500), Indonesia needs to raise economic growth beyond the 7 percent year-on-year (y/y) level. If the current gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate is maintained (between 5 and 6 percent y/y) then it will take another decade to break from the middle income trap and become a high income country. However, GDP growth in 2014 is projected at a bleak 5.2 percent (y/y).

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