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Today's Headlines US Interest Rates

  • Economy of Indonesia: Sacrificing GDP Growth for Financial Stability

    The economy of Indonesia is expected to slow further in the next six months ahead according to Standard Chartered Bank economist Fauzi Ichsan. As the US Federal Reserve is expected to raise its key interest rate next year, emerging economies - including Indonesia - will be affected by capital outflows. Moreover, China (one of the most important trading partners of Indonesia) has been experiencing a period of declining economic growth, thus leading to weak demand for Indonesian commodities.

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  • JP Morgan and Standard & Poor’s about Indonesia’s Equity Market

    Executive director of equity research at JP Morgan Securities Indonesia Aditya Srinath painted a positive picture about the equity market in Indonesia despite the lingering risks emerging from domestic political instability and looming capital outflows due to higher US interest rates in the second quarter of 2015. Srinath stated that Indonesia’s economic resilience so far as well as falling domestic interest rates among Indonesian financial institutions are positive signs for the equity market.

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  • Higher Interest Rates in 2015 Could Further Limit GDP Growth of Indonesia

    The economy of Indonesia, which has been slowing since 2011, will have difficulty to rebound in 2015 as the central bank’s key interest rate (BI rate) is expected to be raised again to avert capital outflows brought on by higher interest rates in the US and to combat accelerated inflation after domestic subsidized fuel prices have been raised by the new government led by president-elect Joko Widodo (Jokowi). After a GDP growth pace of 6.5 percent (y/y) in 2011, economic growth in Southeast Asia’s largest economy fell to 5.8 percent (y/y) in 2013.

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  • Indonesia Investments' Newsletter of 28 September 2014 Released

    On 28 September 2014, Indonesia Investments released the latest edition of its newsletter. This free newsletter, which is sent to our subscribers once per week, contains the most important news stories from Indonesia that have been reported on our website in the last seven days. Most of the topics involve economic topics such Indonesia’s fuel subsidies, US interest rates, poverty, inequality, GDP growth, palm oil, rice, the Anas Urbaningrum graft case, as well as the passing of a new bill that ends direct voting in the regions, and more.

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  • Economy of Indonesia: Regional Election Bill and US Economic Data

    The most controversial and heatedly debated news story from Indonesia in the past week was parliament’s approval of a new bill that puts an end to direct voting in the regions. This means that it are not the people but instead the regional legislatures that will elect mayors, district heads and governors. Critics say this is a major setback for the democracy process of Indonesia and will make local elections prone to corruption, collusion and nepotism as Indonesia’s legislatures - both at the national and regional level - are believed to be corrupted to a high degree.

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  • Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Weaken on New Bill and Wall Street Fall

    Indonesian stocks and rupiah exchange rate weakened considerably on Friday (26/09) after Indonesian parliament approved a new bill that puts an end to direct local elections. Moreover, market sentiments were negative after stocks on Wall Street plunged on Thursday because of increasing concern about the global economy as well as consumers’ problems with Apple's latest software updates and new product launches (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) resulting in a 3.8 percent slide of Apple shares.

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  • Car Industry Update Indonesia: Car Sales Increase in August 2014

    Indonesian car sales, an important indicator to measure consumer confidence and domestic consumption, surged 24.1 percent (year-on-year) to 96,728 vehicles in August 2014. However, this growth pace is heavily influenced by public holidays and thus does not signal a marked improvement in Indonesian consumer confidence. In August last year, Indonesian car sales fell because of the limited amount of working days amid the Lebaran holiday (Idul Fitri), causing reduced production and distribution of cars and motorcycles.

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  • Federal Reserve Maintains US Interest Rates at Near Zero Levels

    Despite some concern about inflation, the US Federal Reserve stated that it will keep interest rates close to zero. The central bank announced this after the two-day policy meeting (Federal Open Market Committee, FOMC). Ahead of the meeting, market participants had increasingly speculated about the chance of sooner-than-expected US interest rate hikes as US economic data has generally been positive (including 4.2 percent GDP growth in the second quarter and weekly jobless claims that declined to near record lows).

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  • Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate Update: Down Ahead of FOMC Meeting

    Ahead of the Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate depreciated 1.26 percent to IDR 11,971 per US dollar based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index on Monday (15/09). Indonesia’s currency depreciated sharply ahead of the FOMC’s two-day meeting as investors are awaiting for the results on Thursday. As August US retail sales rose at the fastest pace in four months, a winding down of the US bond-buying program and looming US interest rates have resulted in a strong US dollar.

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  • Bank Indonesia’s Dilemma: Reducing or Maintaining the BI Rate at 7.50%?

    There are mixed opinions about the interest rate policy of the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia). Tomorrow (11/09), at the Board of Governor’s Meeting, the central bank will decide whether or not to change the country’s interest rates. Indonesia’s benchmark interest rate (BI rate) has been held at 7.50 percent for ten consecutive months. This relatively high figure managed to ease high inflation (which emerged after prices of subsidized fuel prices were raised in June 2013). However, it also further slowed economic growth.

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Latest Columns US Interest Rates

  • US Dollar to Dictate Asian Currency Moves in 2016

    US Dollar to Dictate Asian Currency Moves in 2016

    The financial markets have had an interesting year in 2015, with several significant surprises seen in the major asset classes. On the whole, 2015 could probably be best described as a year of stabilizing with stocks and commodities holding mostly steady throughout the period. This has been largely true in the currency markets, as well. But there are some factors that are likely to influence trends for world currencies in new ways in 2016. Central banks in some regions will likely have significant influence in others, and investors will need to remain aware of the possibilities early in order to position for potential trend chances in critical areas.

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  • Indonesia's Loan Growth, Financial Literacy and US Rate Hike

    Indonesia's Loan Growth, Financial Literacy and US Rate Hike

    Global credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service expects loan growth in Indonesia to continue to slow in 2016 as sluggish economic growth curtails corporate and individual demand for funding in Southeast Asia's largest economy. Meanwhile, a survey conducted by Standard & Poor's shows that the majority of Indonesians are financially illiterate, implying that the government needs to increase efforts to educate its population. Lastly, Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao is convinced that a US interest rate hike will not cause a new financial crisis in Asia. Lets zoom in a bit further on these three subjects.

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  • Bank Indonesia Remains Committed to Tight Monetary Stance

    Bank Indonesia Remains Committed to Tight Monetary Stance

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) relatively high in order to safeguard Indonesia's financial stability in 2016 (instead of seeking accelerated economic growth through a rate cut). Despite easing pressures on inflation and the country's current account balance, Bank Indonesia Governor Agus Martowardojo said that persistent global uncertainty (referring to the looming US Fed Fund Rate hike and China's slowdown) justifies the tight monetary stance.

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  • Indonesia Stock Market & Rupiah Update: US Payrolls & Rate Hike Expectations Surge

    Indonesia Stock Market & Rupiah Update: US Payrolls & Rate Hike Expectations Surge

    Indonesian assets weakened on Friday (06/11) on expectation that US non-farm payrolls and US employment data would improve, suggesting that a Fed Fund Rate hike may occur in December 2015. Such expectations were correct. After Indonesian and other Asian markets had closed on Friday, the US Labor Department announced that October payrolls rose 271,000 (the largest increase this year), while the US unemployment rate touched a seven-year low at 5 percent. Furthermore, the average hourly earnings over the past 12 months climbed by the most since 2009.

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  • Does Bank Indonesia Have Room to Cut its Key Interest Rate?

    Does Bank Indonesia Have Room to Cut its Key Interest Rate?

    As Indonesia's inflation rate has eased to 6.25 percent (y/y) in October 2015 from 6.83 percent (y/y) in the previous month, and given that Indonesian inflation will ease more markedly in the last two months of 2015 as the impact of the subsidized fuel price hike in November 2014 will vanish, the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) seems to have more scope to cut its current relatively high benchmark interest rate, hence giving rise to accelerated economic activity.

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  • World Bank Releases October 2015 Indonesia Economic Quarterly

    World Bank Releases October 2015 Indonesia Economic Quarterly

    Today (22/10), the World Bank released the October 2015 edition of its flagship Indonesia Economic Quarterly, titled "In Times of Global Volatility". In the report the World Bank states that despite current ongoing global uncertainties (caused by looming monetary tightening in the USA and China's economic slowdown), which make macroeconomic management difficult in the year ahead, pro-active government action could offset the negative impact and may help to boost growth.

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  • Weak US Employment Data Means No Fed Rate Hike in 2015?

     Weak US Employment Data Means No Fed Rate Hike in 2015?

    After the release of US non-farm payrolls on Friday (02/10) markets are starting to doubt whether the Federal Reserve has room to raise its key Fed Fund Rate at all in 2015. In September a total of 142,000 jobs were added to the US economy, well below the market consensus of 201,000. Moreover, August non-farm payrolls were revised down to 136,000 (from 173,000 initially). It was the first time since mid-2013 that US jobs grew at such a slow pace in two consecutive months. So far in 2015 US non-farm payrolls grew at an average of 198,000 per month, significantly down from the average growth pace of 260,000 per month last year.

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  • Bank Indonesia Press Release: BI Rate Held at 7.50% in September

    Bank Indonesia Press Release: BI Rate Held at 7.50% in September

    The central bank of Indonesia announced on Thursday (17/09) that it the country’s key interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent, while maintaining the deposit facility rate at 5.50 percent and the lending facility rate at 8.00 percent. According to Bank Indonesia (BI) this decision is consistent with its efforts to push inflation towards the target corridor of 4±1 percent in both 2015 and 2016. In addition, the decision is also part of Bank Indonesia’s measures to anticipate possibilities of a Fed Fund Rate (FFR) hike.

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  • Market Update: Why Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Strengthen on Friday?

    Market Update: Why Indonesian Stocks & Rupiah Strengthen on Friday?

    After a real roller coaster ride, Indonesia’s benchmark stock index (Jakarta Composite Index) climbed 0.35 percent to 4,446.20 points at the end of the trading week. The majority of key stock indices across the globe tended to strengthen on Friday after a week characterized by severe volatility amid concern about the economic situation in China.

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  • Press Release Bank Indonesia: BI Rate Held at 7.50% in August 2015

    Press Release Bank Indonesia: BI Rate Held at 7.50% in August 2015

    During Bank Indonesia’s Board of Governors it was decided on 18th August 2015 to hold the BI Rate at 7.50 percent, while maintaining the Deposit Facility rate at 5.50 percent and the Lending Facility rate at 8.00 percent. The decision is consonant with efforts to control inflation within the target corridor of 4±1 percent in 2015 and 2016. In the short term, Bank Indonesia (BI) is focused on efforts to stabilize the rupiah amid uncertainty in the global economy, by optimizing monetary operations in the rupiah and the foreign exchange market.

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