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Today's Headlines USA

  • 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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  • Indonesia Continues Quest to Put Palm Oil and Rubber on APEC EG List

    The government of Indonesia will be firm to convince the international community at the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum to place crude palm oil (CPO) - including its derivative products - and rubber on the APEC Environmental Goods List (EG List). In the APEC ministerial meeting in Surabaya (East Java), last April, Indonesia failed to include these products on the list. However, the government will continue its lobby during the current APEC meeting by stressing that these products are environmentally friendly.

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  • Indonesia Will Be the World's Fifth most Populous Country by 2050

    Indonesia Will Be the World's Fifth most Populous Country by 2050

    The Institute of Demographic Studies released a report which claims that by the year 2050, the world population will increase to 9.7 billion from the current number of 7.1 billion. India is expected to become the most populous country, surpassing China. At the end of this century the number of people on earth will amount to around 10 or 11 billion. A report of the United Nations, released in June, suggests that by 2050 the total number of people that is 60 years of age or older will amount to two billion (from 841 million currently).

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  • Federal Reserve Continues Quantitative Easing at US $85 Billion a Month

    Despite widespread speculation that the Federal Reserve would tone down its quantitative easing program (QE3) by approximately USD $10 to $20 billion after the FOMC meeting on Wednesday (18/09), the central bank of the USA decided to continue its monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program as it downgraded its outlook for US economic growth to between 2.0 and 2.3 percent. Chairman Bernanke said that the economic context of the USA is still far from conducive to alter its strategy.

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  • Indonesia Expects Influx of 100 Foreign Franchises in 2013

    Attracted by the promising prospects of Indonesia's domestic consumption (with per capita GDP rising strongly), a total of about 100 foreign franchises will enter the Indonesian market in 2013. The most popular investment destination of these franchises is Indonesia's culinary sector. The majority of franchises originate from the United States. Others include those from South Korea, Japan, Australia and Europe. In 2013 so far, more than 170 foreign franchises received approval from the government.

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 USA

  • New Week Starts with Strong Indonesian Rupiah and Climbing IHSG

    At the start of the new week, Indonesia's benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) was able to continue to climb, supported by positive Asian indices. Today, investors took advantage of discounted stocks in Asia as markets had fallen after the Federal Reserve's announcement last week that the quantitative easing program would be wound down further as well as a possible US interest rate hike in 2015 and 2016. However, the IHSG was also vulnerable to profit taking. Therefore, today's gain was limited.

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  • Further US Tapering and Looming Interest Rate Hike Impact on Indonesia

    The US Federal Reserve's plan to increase interest rates is a serious threat to the stock and bonds markets of emerging markets, including Indonesia, in 2014. The higher Fed Fund rate will result in a high cost bonds-climate in Indonesia. The Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday (19/03) that it continues to cut its quantitative easing program (QE3) by USD $10 billion in March 2014 as well as aims for an interest rate hike six months after the 'tapering' has ended. With the current pace, QE3 is expected to end in December 2014.

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  • Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index Climbs 0.33% on Wednesday

    We expected that Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index (the country's benchmark stock index also known as IHSG) would continue to weaken on Wednesday's trading day (19/03) but net buying by foreign investors managed to push the index back into green territory. During the first two days of this week, the IHSG fell as euphoria over Joko Widodo's announcement to run for president in the 2014 elections faded. Last week, the market showed that they approve of Widodo as the IHSG climbed 3.23 percent on Friday (14/03).

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  • Indonesia's Stock Index down on Profit Taking as Jokowi Effect has Worn off

    Jakarta Composite Index down on Profit Taking as Jokowi Effect has Worn off

    Previously we were hoping that if global stock indices would turn positive, it could limit the fall of Indonesia's benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) as the 'Jokowi effect' has definately worn off. On Tuesday (18/03), investors continued to engage in profit taking causing the IHSG to plunge 1.45 percent to 4,805.61 points. While most Asian indices were up, influenced by rising indices on Wall Street and in Europe on the previous trading day (17/03), the IHSG deviated sharply from the Asian trend today.

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  • Most Asian Currencies Down against USD but Indonesian Rupiah Appreciates

    Although immediately plunging 0.33 percent to IDR 11,478 per US dollar after its opening on Monday (10/03), the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate had appreciated 0.57 percent to IDR 11,375 per US dollar by 14:00 local Jakarta time (Bloomberg Dollar Index). The rupiah's performance today is in sharp contrast with other Asian currencies. As US nonfarm payrolls increased more than expected and Chinese exports fell sharply (18.1 percent year-on-year) in February 2014, the US dollar appreciated against most Asian currencies.

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  • Reduced Capital Injections Can Hurt Financial Stability Emerging Economies

    Reduced Capital Injections Can Hurt Financial Stability Emerging Economies

    According to the World Bank, a sharp dismantling of capital injections by the central banks can lead to a 80 percent reduction of capital inflows into the emerging economies, including Indonesia. This can cause serious damage or even a crisis situation in an emerging market because capital flows to these countries are more triggered by global factors than domestic ones. The winding down of the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program (quantitative easing) has been gradual for now but if interest rates rise quickly it can hurt emerging economies.

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  • January 2014 Tapering Has Euphoric Effect on Global Stock Markets

    Fed's January 2014 Tapering Has Euphoric Effect on Global Stock Markets

    On Wednesday (18/12), the Federal Reserve announced to slightly scale back its quantitative easing program starting from January 2014. The reduction of the bond-buying program involves USD $5 billion of mortgage-backed securities and USD $5 billion of US treasury securities. Thus, the Federal Reserve will purchase a total of USD $75 billion worth of bonds per month instead of the current pace of USD $85 billion. For the moment, this policy change has an euphoric effect on global stock markets.

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  • Indonesia’s Stock Index (IHSG) Up on US Economic Data on Tuesday

    Wall Street, which was up on Monday (16/12) supported by various economic data, managed to support Asian stock indices on Tuesday (17/12), including Indonesia’s benchmark stock index (IHSG). Investors were back and ready to trade on the Indonesia Stock Exchange. As usual, the big cap stocks were highly popular. The rupiah’s Bank Indonesia mid-rate, which improved slightly, also contributed to the good performance of the IHSG today. The index rose 1.37 percent to 4,182.35 points.

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  • Indonesia Rupiah Exchange Rate Today: Volatile Movement on Tuesday

    Throughout the morning, the Indonesia rupiah exchange rate showed volatile movement on Tuesday (10/12). In the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the currency was up 0.45 percent to IDR 11,920 per US dollar at 16:20:51 local Jakarta time. The rupiah's performance is volatile because negative sentiments are brought on by improving economic data from the USA, causing a strengthening US dollar, while positive market sentiments are brought on by the new fiscal policies that were announced by the Indonesian government.

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  • Indonesia Stock Index Up but Rupiah Exchange Rate Down on Tuesday

    Indonesia's benchmark stock index (the Jakarta Composite Index or IHSG) continued yesterday's rise on today's trading day (10/12), supported by indices on Wall Street that climbed due to the lower VIX index (Chicago Board Options Exchange Market Volatility Index) although Asia's stock indices were mixed, while the Indonesia rupiah exchange rate continued its decline. Indonesia's manufacturing stocks were up along with consumer, automotive and processed foods stocks.

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