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Today's Headlines Trade Balance

  • Indonesia's Benchmark Stock Index Falls 5.58% amid Heavy Concerns

    Indonesian stocks took a large dive on today's trading day (19/08) at the Indonesia Stock Exchange. The IHSG (the index of all listed stocks) fell 5.58 percent to 4,313.52 points as negative market sentiments caused foreign investors to pull money out of the Indonesian market. Investors are highly concerned about a number of macroeconomic data that have been released recently. These data indicated the slowest economic growth since Q3-2010, inflation at a four-year high and a widening trade deficit.

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  • Ongoing Concerns: Trade Deficit of Indonesia May Continue in 2014

    The government of Indonesia is concerned that the trade deficit in the oil and gas sector that was posted in the first six months of 2013, will continue in the second half of the year and will also disturb the trade balance in 2014. Indonesia's oil and gas sector posted a deficit in Semester I-2013 of USD $5.82 billion, while the non-oil and gas sector posted an USD $2.51 billion surplus. Minister of Trade Gita Wirjawan believes that Indonesia's trade deficit may reach beyond USD $5 to $6 billion this year.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Inflation is Expected to Stay Above 8% in 2013

    Although it was clear that Indonesia would see a high inflation rate in July 2013 as the impact of higher fuel prices would kick in, Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) was surprised to see the figure go up to 3.29 percent. Currently, Indonesia's annual inflation rate stands at 8.61 percent. Bank Indonesia's governor Agus Martowardojo said that this rate is far outside the central bank's target range and announced that the institution expects annual inflation to stay above 8%  throughout 2013, higher than its previous assumption of 7.8% at end-2013.

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  • Lower Oil Imports in Q3-2013 will Support Indonesia's Weakening Rupiah

    The Indonesian government assumes that the recently increased prices of subsidized fuels will translate into lower oil imports from the third quarter of 2013. Lower oil imports will result in lower demand for foreign currencies and, as such, will support Indonesia's currency, the rupiah. The value of the IDR rupiah is also influenced by market participants' expectation of inflation. Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) projects inflation to rise to 2.77 percent in July, and to slow down to 1 percent in both August and September.

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  • Large Outflow of Funds From Indonesia's Main Stock Index on Friday

    Yesterday (07/06), the main index of the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IHSG) fell by a total of 2.7 percent to close at 4,865.32 points. The size of this single day fall of Indonesia's IHSG has not been seen since November 2011 and illustrates waning confidence in Indonesia's economy. For eleven days in a row, foreign investors have been engaged in net selling as they have been concerned about ongoing uncertainty regarding the price hike of subsidized fuel, the continuing trade deficit as well as the steady fall of the IDR rupiah.

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  • UBS Revises up its GDP Estimate for Indonesia due to Stronger US Demand

    Global financial services company UBS has revised up Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP) number as it expects the country to benefit from increased exports to the United States. The Switzerland-based company predicts that Indonesia's economy will grow by 6.3 percent, instead of the previous estimate of 6.0 percent. Recently improved economic growth in the USA is cited as the engine of growth for Indonesian exports later this year.

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  • Indonesia's Trade Deficit Narrowed in January but Remains under Pressure

    Indonesia's trade deficit narrowed slightly in January as there has been better demand from developed countries. However, Indonesian exports remain under pressure with persistent weak global demand. Moreover, higher crude oil prices increase the country's import costs. In addition to Indonesia's trade deficit, annual inflation increased to 5.31 percent in February due to rising food prices and higher electricity tariffs.

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  • Indonesia's Central Bank Continues Historic Low Key Interest Rate

    Bank Indonesia, the country's central bank, continued its key interest rate at the level of 5.75 percent. The interest rate has been at this historic low level for the 12th month in a row. The current policy rate is "considered consistent with the contained inflationary pressure in accordance with its target range of 4.5 percent ± 1 percent in 2013 and 2014," according to the website of Indonesia's central bank.

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Latest Columns Trade Balance

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

    Inflation in June 2014 increased by 0.43 percent (month-to-month, mtm) in accordance with the traditional pattern ahead of the holy fasting month of Ramadan and Idul Fitri celebrations. These occasions always trigger inflationary pressures as consumers increase spending. However, June inflation remains under control and is even lower than the historical average in June in recent years (0.56 percent mtm). On a year-on-year (yoy) basis, inflation stood at 6.70 percent, thus continuing the downward trend since the beginning of 2014.

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Stronger on Falling Oil Prices

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate is appreciating sharply on Monday (30/06). By 15:13pm local Jakarta time, the currency of Indonesia had strengthened 1.31 percent to IDR 11,838 against the US dollar. Main factors that cause this performance are the weakening US dollar (as a slowdown in the US economic recovery evokes expectations that the Fed Rate will not be raised soon) and falling oil prices; the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate declined 30 cents to USD $105.44 in mid-morning trade while Brent crude fell 22 cents to USD $113.08.

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  • Latest Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Depreciating 0.07%

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.07 percent to IDR 12,099 per US dollar on Thursday (26/06) based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, thus extending its recent weakening trend. This trend is expected to continue further as Bank Indonesia said it would allow rupiah depreciation in order to make the country’s exports more competitive (in an attempt to curb the current account deficit). However, this also dampens demand for Indonesian bonds. The 10-year yield rose to the highest level since February 2014.

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  • Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Bank Indonesia Allows Depreciation

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated considerably on Wednesday (25/06) after Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia) said it would allow rupiah depreciation in an attempt to boost competitiveness of the country’s exports, while curbing imports. This strategy will have a positive impact on the country’s troubled trade balance. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the currency had weakened 0.67 percent to IDR 12,070 per US dollar by 14:30pm local Jakarta time.

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  • Indonesia Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Continued Depreciation

    The Indonesia rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.16 percent to IDR 11,992 per US dollar on Monday (23/06) according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index, thus extending the currency’s recent depreciating trend. Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia's benchmark rupiah rate (known as the Jakarta Interbank Spot Dollar Rate, or, abbreviated JISDOR) depreciated 0.03 percent to IDR 11,971 against the greenback. What were the factors that influenced the rupiah’s performance today?

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  • Indonesian Stocks and Rupiah Exchange Rate Down on Oil Concerns

    The benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) declined 0.34 percent to 4,847.70 points on Friday (20/06). Trade was thin on this week’s last trading day with only about 3.4 billion shares - valued at IDR 3.8 trillion (USD $319 million) - being traded on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (well below the average daily value of IDR 6.1 trillion). Foreign investors accounted for 48 percent of total trading, recording net buying worth of IDR 31.3 billion (USD $2.6 million).

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  • Why the Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate has been Depreciating Lately

    After the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate temporarily surpassed the psychological boundary of IDR 12,000 per US dollar on Wednesday (18/06), concerns about the fundamentals of the currency emerged. The currency has been under pressure recently due to external factors (monetary policy of the Federal Reserve and geopolitical tensions in Iraq) and domestic factors (large private debt, significant US dollar demand, the wide trade deficit and political uncertainty ahead of the presidential election).

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Depreciated 0.62% on Iraq Violence

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 0.62 percent to IDR 11,893 per US dollar on Tuesday (17/06), a four-month low. The main reason behind this poor performance is increased concern about the impact of violence in northern Iraq - namely higher global oil prices - on Indonesia’s trade and budget deficits as Indonesia subsidises a significant amount of domestic fuels). As oil and gas imports accounted for about 23 percent of total imports of Indonesia in April 2014.

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  • ICRA Indonesia’s Monthly Review; an Update on the Indonesian Economy

    ICRA Indonesia, an independent credit rating agency and subsidiary of ICRA Ltd. (associate of Moody's Investors Service), publishes a monthly newsletter which provides an update on the financial and economic developments in Indonesia of the last month. In the May 2014 edition, a number of important topics that are monitored include Indonesia's inflation rate, the trade balance, the BI rate, the IDR rupiah exchange rate, and gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Below is an excerpt of the newsletter:

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  • Bank Indonesia’s Key Interest Rate Expected to Be Kept at 7.50%

    Although the business community in Indonesia requests that the country’s benchmark interest rate (BI rate) is lowered at Bank Indonesia’s next Board of Governor’s Meeting (scheduled for Thursday 12 June 2014), it is highly unlikely that the central bank will alter its BI rate which currently stands at 7.50 percent. The relatively high BI rate curbs business expansion and therefore limits higher economic expansion in Indonesia. However, several factors justify the continuation of the BI rate at 7.50 percent.

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