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Today's Headlines Global Economy

  • G20 Summit Russia: Indonesia within the G20 Group of Major Economies

    The G-20 summit in St Petersburg (Russia), which is held on Thursday (05/09) and Friday (06/09), is not expected to result in unanimous support for a military action against Syria as China and Russia are opposing strongly to such an action. Indonesia's president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated that Indonesia takes the middle road regarding the Syria-case. Apart from Syria, other topics that are discussed include the possible ending to the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program, global economic growth and financial stability.

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  • IMF: Change in Global Dynamics, Emerging versus Developed Economies

    On Wednesday (04/09), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released a report that describes a change in the current global economic dynamic as developed economies are showing signs of recovery, while growth in emerging markets is slowing down. These two developments are interrelated because stagnating developed economies from the late 2000s meant that investors started to look for lucrative assets in rapidly-growing emerging markets, including Indonesia.

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  • IMF Downgrades Indonesia's Economic Growth in 2013 to 5.25%

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects the economy of Indonesia to expand by 5.25 percent in 2013, which is considerably lower than the IMF's earlier forecast. In its World Economic Outlook, released in April 2013, the institution set economic growth of Indonesia at 6.3 percent. However, after emerging markets were hit by large capital outflows when the Federal Reserve began to speculate about an end to its quantitative easing program (QE3), Indonesia's GDP growth assumptions were quickly revised downwards.

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  • Central Bank of Indonesia Raises its Benchmark Interest Rate to 7%

    Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) decided to raise its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) by 50 basis points to 7.0 percent on Thursday (29/08) in order to support the weakening rupiah amid slowing global economic growth. The rupiah has been on a long losing streak and has fallen to its lowest level against the US dollar in four years. The BI rate had already been raised in June and July from a historically low 5.75 percent to 6.50 percent. Today, an extra meeting was scheduled to discuss policy measures.

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  • Indonesia's Banking Sector Has No Difficulty Facing Economic Turmoil

    Indonesia's banking sector is expected to have no difficulties in coping with current financial turmoil in Indonesia's economy. The country's banking industry is much stronger and healthier now than when the crisis in 1997-1998 or 2008 erupted. There have been reports that a few small banks have used the central bank's overnight lending facility, but various stress tests indicate that the banking sector is strong. Gross non performing loans per June 2013 have been kept below1.9 percent, which is significantly lower compared to previous periods.

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  • Bank Indonesia Plans Extra Board Meeting, Interest Rates May Rise

    Governor of the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) Agus Martowardojo said that the central bank will respond to current market conditions on Thursday (29/08). Bank Indonesia will have an extra board meeting to discuss measures to safeguard Indonesia's financial stability. It will touch matters such as macro-prudential policy, the interest rate and currency control. Normally, the central bank meets once per month but Martowardojo felt that this extra meeting is needed as the next scheduled meeting (12/09) is too far away.

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  • Chatib Basri: GDP Growth Indonesia in 2014 Should Be Revised Down to 6%

    Finance minister Chatib Basri said that the Indonesian government should revise its outlook for GDP growth in 2014 from 6.4% (mentioned in the 2014 State Budget) to about 6.0%. A more realistic outlook, which is in line with the current global and domestic financial context, is needed. Global uncertainty due to the possible ending of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program has resulted in capital outflows from emerging markets, including Indonesia. Various countries, developed and emerging ones, have lowered outlooks for 2014 GDP growth.

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  • Indonesia's Crude Palm Oil Export Duty Lowered to 9% in September 2013

    The government of Indonesia will lower the export duties on crude palm oil (CPO) from 10.5 percent in August to 9 percent in September if the CPO price continues to stay between USD $800-850 per ton. This lower tax policy is done in order to stimulate export revenues amid persistent weak global commodity prices. The international palm oil market is expected to remain stagnant in August and September. Stockpiles of CPO in Malaysia and Indonesia are projected to rise between September and December 2013.

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  • Government's 2014 Macroeconomic Assumptions Ambitious but Unrealistic

    The macroeconomic assumptions that have been formulated in the 2014 State Budget Draft by the government of Indonesia are not considered too realistic by several analysts. Although it is understood that one should set a high standard in order to maximize efforts, analysts feel that - given the current problematic economic context in Asian emerging economies as well as global economic turmoil - the government is far too optimistic, particularly because the government will have to devote part of its attention to the elections in mid-2014.

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  • Indonesia's Consumer Confidence Falls in July because of Rising Inflation

    According to a Bank Indonesia report that was released on Monday (19/08), consumer confidence in Indonesia has weakened after the government decided to raise prices of subsidized fuels in June 2013. The country's consumer confidence index fell 8.7 points to 108¹ in July from 117 points in June. Higher fuel prices led to higher transportation costs that subsequently made many retailers increase prices of products, thus impacting on Indonesian households' purchasing power. In July, the annual inflation rate accelerated to 8.61 percent.

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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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