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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

  • Indonesia's Benchmark Stock Index Up on US and China Economic Data

    Asia's stock indices were up after various US economic data (including non-farm payrolls and consumer confidence) were better than expected, including Indonesia's benchmark stock index (also known as the Jakarta Composite index or IHSG). The index climbed 0.80 percent to 4,214.34 points on Monday (09/12). Supported by foreign net buying, almost all sectoral indices of the IHSG were up. The economic policy package that was released by the Ministry of Economy this afternoon also provided support for the index and the rupiah.

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  • Market Insecure about Future of QE3; IHSG Extends Losing Streak on Friday

    On the last day of the trading week (22/11), Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) fell 0.19 percent to 4,317.96 points thereby extending its losing streak to three days as investors remain concerned about the looming end - or at least winding down - of the Federal Reserve's monthly USD $85 billion bond buying program known as quantitative easing (QE3). Foreign investors recorded a net sell of IDR 38 billion (USD $3.3 million). The other indices in Asia were mixed. The Hang Seng and Nikkei were up but the Shanghai Composite was down.

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  • FOMC: Tapering of Quantitative Easing Might Start Sooner than Expected

    FOMC: Tapering of Quantitative Easing Might Start Sooner than Expected

    The Federal Reserve, central banking system of the United States, expects that the current economic recovery of the USA is set to continue. In the minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, held at end-October 2013, it is mentioned that within the next few months the Federal Reserve can start winding down its monthly USD $85 billion stimulus program (known as quantitative easing). The next FOMC meeting, which will shed more light on the future of the bond-buying program, is scheduled for December 2013.

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  • Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) and Rupiah Advance on Thursday

    Contrary to most Asian indices, Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) managed to post a gain on Thursday (07/11). The IHSG seemed to follow the upward movement of Wall Street on the previous day (06/11) after a number of Federal Reserve officials stated to support the continuation of the Fed's monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program (quantitative easing). Despite continued foreign net selling, the IHSG index rose 0.82 percent to 4,486.11 points as domestic purchases offset foreign selling.

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  • Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) and Rupiah Continue Decline on Monday

    Jakarta Composite Index (IHSG) and Rupiah Continue Decline on Monday

    On Monday (04/11), Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) fell 0.21 percent to 4,423.29 points. Besides the negative influence of falling indices across Asia and foreign net selling of Indonesian stocks, the IHSG was also dragged down by the continued depreciation of the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate (against the US dollar). When US manufacturing data showed that manufacturing activity grew faster than expected in October, the US dollar gained and thus the rupiah became pressured.

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  • Amid Political Turmoil in the USA, Indonesia's Rupiah and IHSG Rise

    Although part of the market players on Indonesia's Stock Exchange (IDX) engaged in profit taking after Indonesia's benchmark index (IHSG) climbed for two consecutive days, the index still posted growth of 0.71 percent to 4,418.64 points on Thursday (03/10). Factors that contributed to today's gain were the depreciating US dollar as no solution has been found yet concerning the shutdown, generally rising Asian stock indices and the positive message that is conveyed in the APEC meeting in Bali.

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  • Indonesia Economic Update & Analysis: Opportunities Arise?

    It seems clear now how market conditions will be until the end of the year. Two important foreign issues - the US Federal Reserve's tapering of quantitative easing (QE3) as well as the US debt ceiling issue which resulted in a shutdown as the Democrats and Republicans failed to come to an agreement on the country's federal budget - and various economic data from Indonesia (inflation and the trade balance) have provided some more insight into the matter. I will discuss each topic one by one below.

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  • Concerns about US Debt Ceiling Talks Impacts on Indonesia's IHSG

    Concerns about the US debt ceiling issue have a negative impact on stock indices around the world, including Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG). Market players fear a possible deadlock during the state budget discussions, which - if not resolved - will have a serious negative impact on the economy. Factors that contributed to negative market sentiments were the continued depreciating value of rupiah and weak openings of European stock indices. The IHSG fell 2.43 percent to 4,316.18 on Monday (30/09).

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  • No Tapering is Bullish? The Federal Reserve Playing with the Global Market

    Starting from May 2013, Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) has been on a weakening (bearish) trend inflicted by various reasons. First, in early May, Standard & Poor's downgraded Indonesia's credit rating due to the government's hesitancy to slash fuel subsidies. Then, the Federal Reserve started to speculate about ending its quantitative easing program. Capital outflows that followed indicated the vulnerable state of the Indonesian economy. Moreover, the controversial hike in fuel prices in late-June resulted in high inflation.

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  • The Impact of the Fed's Quantitative Easing Program on Emerging Indonesia

    Investors all around the world are in anticipation of the Federal Reserve's decision to scale back the monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program known as quantitative easing (QE3). If indeed scaled back, then another important question remains: how much will the bond-buying program be toned down? Today (18/09), is the last day of the Fed's FOMC meeting in which these decisions are made. The market expects no drastic end to the program, instead a gradual toning down (between USD $10 to $20 billion) is anticipated.

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