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Today's Headlines Global Economy

  • Low Indonesian Inflation Rate Expected to Continue into January 2014

    The Governor of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia), Agus Martowardojo, expects that the pace of inflation in Indonesia in January 2014 is most likely to become one of the lowest January inflation rates in the last five years although it remains important that food supplies are maintained at safe levels. The higher price of LPG in Southeast Asia's largest economy is expected to contribute only slightly to January's inflation rate. Martowardojo also stated that Indonesia's macroeconomy is stable at the start of a new year.

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  • Finance Minister: Indonesia's Economic Growth in 2013 Expected at 5.7%

    Finance Minister: Indonesia's Economic Growth in 2013 Expected at 5.7%

    Chatib Basri, the Finance Minister of Indonesia, expects Indonesia's economy to expand 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. As such, total gross domestic product (GDP) growth of Southeast Asia's largest economy in 2013 will total between 5.6 to 5.7 percent in 2013. This result will imply that Indonesia's economic expansion in 2013 has slowed down for the second straight year, mainly due to global economic turmoil. In 2011 and 2012, the country's economy expanded by 6.5 percent and 6.2 percent respectively.

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  • Jakarta Composite Index Expected to Show Better Performance in 2014

    Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) Expected to Show Better Performance in 2014

    Various analysts believe that the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (the Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) can make a good jump in 2014 to the level of between 5,000 to 5,300 points (from 4,182 currently) despite the looming end of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program (QE3) which may result in temporary capital outflow from Indonesia's capital markets. The analysts believe that positive internal developments will provide solid support for the IHSG. These developments include the trade balance, rupiah exchange rate and general elections.

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  • IMF: Slowing Growth and Widening Macro-Imbalances in Indonesia

    IMF: Slowing Growth and Widening Macro-imbalances in Indonesia

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) detects a slowdown in GDP growth in major emerging market economies and decline in commodity prices, and more recently, a reversal in push factors tied to a prospective exit from extraordinarily easy global monetary conditions, has put pressure on Indonesia’s balance of payments and heightened its vulnerability to shocks. Domestic policy accommodation and rising energy subsidies have also given rise to increased external and fiscal imbalances.

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  • Developing Asia Growth Outlook Steady as Industrial Economies Firm

    An improving economic growth outlook in both Japan and the USA paired with stronger-than- expected growth in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) support a steady growth outlook for developing Asia, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report. The Asian Development Outlook Supplement, released on Wednesday (11/12), forecasts growth of 6.0 percent in 2013 for ADB’s 45 developing member countries, improving to 6.2 percent in 2014. The forecasts are unchanged from the Asian Development Outlook Update issued in October.

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  • Bali Package Important Step for the WTO's Doha Development Round

    Bali Package Important Step for the WTO's Doha Development Round

    After two long days of intense negotiations, Director of the World Trade Organization Roberto Azevedo announced that the discussions have resulted in the Bali declaration on Saturday morning (07/12). The agreement between the participants were put in 10 documents, known as the Bali Package, and cover trade facilitation (trade liberalizations), agriculture, cotton and development. Azevedo stressed the importance of the agreement when he said "[for the] first time in our history, the WTO has truly delivered."

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  • Indonesia's Economic Growth in 2014: Growing or Slowing?

    Despite the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) having revised down their forecasts for Indonesia's economic growth in 2014, the Center for Economic and Public Policy Studies (Pusat Studi Ekonomi dan Kebijakan Publik) expects that the country's economy will grow stronger in 2014 than this year. In 2014, the World Bank and IMF expect Indonesia's gross domestic product to grow 5.4 percent and 5.5 percent respectively. Both estimates are 0.2 percent down from their GDP growth forecasts for the year 2013.

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  • In Anticipation of Tapering, Bank Indonesia May Raise its BI Rate Again

    In Anticipation of Tapering, Bank Indonesia May Raise its BI Rate Again

    Several analysts expect that the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) will raise its key interest rate (BI rate) again in the first Semester of 2014 in order to anticipate the winding down of the Federal Reserve's monthly USD $85 billion stimulus program (quantitative easing). Currently, the BI rate is set at 7.50 percent but analysts say that the market should be prepared for a hike to 8.0 percent in the first half of 2014. Between June and November 2013, Bank Indonesia has already raised its benchmark interest rate from 5.75 to 7.50 percent.

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  • Agus Martowardojo Comments on Indonesia's Macroeconomy in 2014

    Agus Martowardojo Comments on Indonesia's Macroeconomy in 2014

    Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Indonesia's central bank, expects the Indonesian economy to consolidate in 2014. The country is currently experiencing an economic correction with GDP growth slowing to 5.62 percent in the third quarter of 2013. Martowardojo said that the current account deficit still needs time to reach a healthy level. Indonesia's current account deficit stood at USD $8.4 billion (equivalent to 3.8 percent of the country's GDP) in the third quarter of 2013, down from USD $9.8 billion (4.4 percent of GDP) in the second quarter.

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  • Bank Indonesia Expects Indonesia's Economy to Grow 5.7% in 2013

    Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia), stated that the country's economy is expected to grow 5.7 percent in 2013. Bank Indonesia believes GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 to fall below the growth figure realized in Q3-2013 (5.62 percent). Martowardojo said that the government needs to continue measures to improve the country's exports, while trying to curtail imports of oil and gas as domestic demand for fuels remained high, even after the increase in prices of subsidized fuels in June 2013.

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Latest Columns Global Economy

  • Fitch Ratings: Major Indonesian Banks Resilient Against Market Turmoil

    Fitch Ratings: Major Indonesian Banks Resilient Against Market Turmoil

    According to global credit rating and research agency Fitch Ratings, Indonesia's major banks are robust against the rupiah currency slide due to their low unhedged foreign currency exposure, strong loss-absorption cushions and - in some cases - foreign ownership. The slowdown in the economy will weigh on these (rated) banks' operating environment, but is unlikely to damage their credit profiles to any great extent. Below we provide Fitch Ratings' report. This report can also be accessed on their website.

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  • Indonesia Stock Index Rebounds on Tuesday; Rupiah Depreciates

    Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) rebounded on Tuesday (03/09) amid rising Asian stock indices inflicted by optimism about economic recovery in China and the USA. The IHSG rose 1.53 percent to 4,164.12 points. Agribusiness and mining stocks were the top performers today, while the miscellaneous industry, which fell 0.09 percent, was the only sectoral index on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) that was down. The rupiah depreciated against the US dollar as investors are concerned about July's USD $2.3 billion current account deficit.

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  • Market Update: Eurozone Posts Good Data, USA Waiting for Decisions

    Most European stock indices rose sharply on Monday (02/09) as investors were happy to see favorable industrial data from China and the Eurozone. The benchmark stock indices in Paris, Frankfurt, London and Amsterdam climbed up to 1.8 percent. Trade was relatively quiet as Wall Street was closed due to Labor Day celebrations. However, it may be a 'calm before the storm' because on Friday (06/09) new official data about U.S. job creation will be released, while next week more clarity about a military operation in Syria is expected.

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  • Government Stance on Indonesian Economy and Investors' Reaction

    Last week Friday (30/08), Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) ended 2.23 percent up to the level of 4,195.09 points, continuing its three-day 'winning streak'. Underlying reasons being the central bank's new policy package (that was released as a response towards the negative impact of global turmoil on Indonesia's financial stability) and the higher benchmark interest rate (BI rate). The BI rate was raised 50 basis points on Thursday (29/08) to 7.0 percent to stabilize the weakening rupiah that fell to IDR 11,000 per US dollar.

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  • Indonesian Government Revises State Budgets of 2013 and 2014

    Indonesian Government Revises Macroeconomic Assumptions of 2013 and 2014

    The government of Indonesia has revised the macroeconomic assumptions that are stated in the State Budgets (APBN) of 2013 and 2014 after a meeting with the budgetary body of the House of Representatives (Badan Anggaran DPR) on Wednesday (28/08). It is the third time that the 2013 State Budget has been revised in order to put it more in line with recent global developments. As the government was also too optimistic when drafting the 2014 Budget, it felt the need for a revision (only 12 days after the announcement of the Budget).

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  • Global Markets Down due to Syria; Indonesia Stock Index Falls 3.71%

    Most of us who were hoping for a limited weakening of Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) today (27/08) were to be disappointed. Instead of a limited decline, the IHSG fell 3.71 percent to 3,967.84 points. Market participants are concerned about both the global and domestic economy, thus pulling money out from Indonesia. The weakening rupiah and weak stock index openings in Europe (due to tensions in Syria) pushed the IHSG further down into red territory. Foreign investors were again net sellers of Indonesian assets.

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  • Current Account Deficit of Indonesia Expected to Ease to 2.5% of GDP

    Indonesia's current account deficit, which caused much alarm among the investor community, is expected to ease to about 2.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the second half of 2013. This assumption is supported by Indonesia's central bank and various analysts. The country's current account deficit reached USD $9.8 billion or 4.4 percent of GDP in Q2-2013. In combination with the weakening rupiah, higher inflation and the possible end to the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program, investors have been pulling money out of Indonesia.

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  • Indonesian Government Reacts to the Impact of Global Financial Turmoil

    Despite the announcement of an economic policy package aimed at overcoming the impact of global financial turmoil, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) was not able to end the week on a positive note, while the value of the rupiah on the spot market depreciated 1.68 percent to IDR 11,058 per US dollar on Friday (23/08) amid a majority of strengthening Asian currencies, including the Indian rupee (0.67 percent) and the Thai baht (0.28 percent). Based on Bank Indonesia's mid rate, the rupiah fell 4.4 percent against the US dollar to IDR 10,848 last week.

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  • Bank Indonesia Takes Steps to Maintain Macroeconomic Stability

    Bank Indonesia Takes Steps to Maintain Macroeconomic Stability

    Similar to the Indonesian government, Indonesia's central bank also announced a fiscal policy package to support sustainable nationwide economic growth by curbing inflation, maintaining a more sustainable balance of payments as well as strengthening financial system stability. These additional policies are expected to synergise with the policy package unveiled by the government on Friday (23/08). These measures were taken as both the rupiah and Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) are in a downward spiral.

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  • Concern over Ailing Rupiah Intensifies; Government Prepares Package

    Concerns about Indonesia's weakening rupiah intensified on Wednesday (21/08) as the currency is now balancing on the psychological boundary of IDR 11,000 per US dollar. The rupiah continued its downward spiral today although its decline was limited due to the intervention of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) that started selling US dollars again in an effort to support the rupiah. According to data compiled by Reuters, the rupiah has now fallen 10.7 percent this year.

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