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Today's Headlines US Interest Rates

  • Joko Widodo & Jusuf Kalla Propose Higher GDP Growth & Stronger Rupiah

    Newly elected presidential pair Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and running mate Jusuf Kalla, the pair that will guide Indonesia for the next five years starting from October 2014, propose to raise the target for economic growth in Southeast Asia’s largest economy from 5.6 percent to 5.8 percent in 2015. Furthermore, the pair would like to set a stronger average rupiah rate at IDR 11,600 per US dollar over 2015 (from IDR 11,900 as set in the Revised 2015 State Budget). Several reasons are behind these ambitious targets.

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  • What Impacted on the Indonesian Rupiah Exchange Rate this Week?

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate was relatively stagnant on Friday (15/08). Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the currency of Southeast Asia’s largest economy had depreciated 0.01 percent to IDR 11,680 per US dollar at 15:40 pm local Jakarta time. At the start of the day, the rupiah depreciated as market players were waiting for incumbent President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s state speech ahead of the country’s Independence Day on 17 August. Afterwards, the rupiah gained in line with the performance of other Asian currencies.

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  • Bank Indonesia Expected to Keep Key Interest Rate (BI Rate) at 7.50%

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia, BI) is expected to keep its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent at Thursday’s Board of Governors’ Meeting (14/08) as inflation has eased to 4.53 percent (year on year) in July while the country’s current account deficit may nearly double in the second quarter of 2014 to four percent of gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.06 percent of GDP in the previous quarter. Most analysts expect that Bank Indonesia will maintain the current BI rate for the remainder of 2014.

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  • Despite Slowing GDP Growth and Trade Deficit, Indonesian Rupiah Appreciates

    Despite the release of slowing Q2-2014 GDP growth as well as the June 2014 trade deficit, the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated 0.53 percent to IDR 11,698 against the US dollar according to the Bloomberg Dollar Index on Tuesday (05/08). This performance of Indonesia’s currency is in line with the performance of other emerging Asian currencies on today’s trading day. The US dollar weakened against almost all these currencies as lower US yields made investors decide to search for higher returns in Asia.

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  • Foreign Banks in Indonesia Post Large Profit on Rupiah Depreciation

    According to data from the Financial Services Authority (OJK), foreign banks operating in Indonesia have posted great profit growth in the January to May 2014 period. Combined, these foreign banks have recorded a 94.36 percentage point growth (year-on-year) in profit to IDR 3.79 trillion (USD $323.9 million) in the first five months of this year. The reason behind this jump in profit is the sharply depreciated rupiah exchange rate. Over the course of 2013, the rupiah fell over 25 percent against the US dollar.

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  • US Economy Grows 4% in Q2-2014 amid Improved Consumer Spending

    US gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the second quarter of 2014 expanded 4 percent year-on-year (yoy), thus having nearly doubled from the GDP growth pace in the first quarter (2.1 percent yoy) when the USA was hit by severe winter weather. The US economic growth pace in Q2-2014 also exceeded analysts' forecasts who expected US GDP growth to range between 2 and 2.5 percent. Strong growth was caused by improved US consumer spending (expanding 2.5 percent and contributing over two-thirds to total economic activity in the USA).

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  • US Economy Improves; Federal Reserve Expected to Continue Tapering

    While some investors hope that the European Central Bank will enhance monetary easing by pumping more funds in the economy, the Federal Reserve is expected to continue monetary tightening. On 29-30 July, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets and probably reduce the bond-buying program (quantitative easing) by another chunk of USD $10 billion to USD $25 billion in August. Since the start of 2014 when the Fed bought USD $85 billion worth of bonds per month, the program has been wound down amid an improving US economy.

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  • Fed Minutes: QE3 Ends in October 2014 but No Immediate US Interest Rate Hike

    Fed Minutes: QE3 Ends in October 2014 but No Immediate US Interest Rate Hike

    The US dollar continues to depreciate against emerging currencies after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest FOMC meeting, released Wednesday (09/07), suggest that the US central bank will maintain historic low interest rates (0.0 - 0.25 percent) into 2015. The Fed informed that US interest rates hikes will only occur ”a considerable time” after the US asset-buying program (quantitative easing) has ended. Based on the latest minutes, this program is expected to end in October 2014.

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  • IMF: Despite Challenges, Global Economic Growth Expected to Improve

    IMF: Despite Challenges, Global Economic Growth Expected to Improve

    Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde stated on Sunday (06/07) that the institution expects improved global economic growth in the second half of 2014 as well as in 2015 supported by the assumption that China, the world’s second-largest economy, will expand between 7.0 and 7.5 percent in 2014, thus not showing a sharp slowdown. Later this month, the IMF will release its new global economic outlook. Lagarde said that forecasts will be slightly different from forecasts made in the April edition.

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  • Economy of Indonesia: Government Targets GDP Growth of 5.8% in 2015

    The Indonesian government is optimistic that the country’s economic growth will accelerate to 5.8 percent (year-on-year) in 2015 from an expected growth pace of 5.5 percent in 2014. The key to next year’s improved gross domestic product (GDP) growth of Indonesia is the higher forecast for global economic growth. In 2015, the world economy is estimated to grow 3.9% (yoy), higher than the outlook for this year’s growth at 3.6 percent. As such, the government’s outlook is in line the central bank’s GDP growth forecast in the range of 5.4 to 5.8 percent.

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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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