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Today's Headlines Macroeconomy

  • Challenges for Indonesia's Economy to Persist in 2016

    Challenges for Indonesia's Economy to Persist in 2016

    With the year 2015 coming to an end, it is worthwhile to take a look at the challenges that Indonesia faced this year and whether these challenges will remain in 2016. In short, we believe that the current external challenges persist into the new year. Although the country's economic growth is projected to accelerate to 5.3 percent year-on-year (y/y) in 2016 from an estimated 4.7 percent (y/y) in 2015 (the fifth consecutive year of slowing gross domestic growth expansion), this growth is primarily caused by improved government spending.

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  • Macroeconomic Assumptions Indonesia to be Discussed in House

    Macroeconomic Assumptions Indonesia to be Discussed in House

    The House of Representatives of Indonesia (DPR) is scheduled to meet on Thursday (22/10) to discuss the government's revised 2016 macroeconomic assumptions. In August 2015, Indonesian President Joko Widodo had unveiled the government's draft 2016 State Budget. However, due to overly optimistic assumptions, there has been the need for several revisions.

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  • Trade Balance Indonesia Improves in July 2015 but Concerns Persist

    Trade Balance Indonesia Improves in July 2015 but Concerns Persist

    Indonesia’s trade balance surplus widened to USD $1.33 billion in July 2015, improving markedly from the USD $528 million trade surplus in the preceding month and being much higher than expectations of analysts. Based on the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesia’s July exports fell 19.2 percent (y/y) to USD $11.4 billion, while imports plunged 28.4 percent (y/y) to USD $10.1 billion. The trade surplus is positive as it supports a narrowing current account deficit (which stood at 2.1 percent of GDP in Q2-2015).

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  • Indonesia’s Economic Growth to Slip below 5% Mark in 2015?

    Indonesia’s Economic Growth to Slip below 5% Mark in 2015?

    Several international institutions revised down their outlook for economic growth of Indonesia in 2015 as foreign investors have been somewhat disappointed with the performance of the new Indonesian government, while the global economic picture remains far from rosy. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse and Nomura Holdings have all slashed Indonesia’s economic growth forecast this year to below the five percent (year-on-year) mark. Last year Indonesia’s economic growth touched a five-year low of 5.02 percent (y/y).

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  • What is Next for the Indonesian Economy in 2015?

    What is Next for the Indonesian Economy in 2015?

    After seeing the disappointing GDP growth figure of 4.71 percent (y/y) in the first quarter of 2015, investors have become concerned about Indonesia’s economic growth in the remainder of the year. The poor Q1-2015 GDP growth was caused by the country’s weak export performance (due to the sluggish global economy and low commodity prices), Indonesia’s high interest rate environment (curbing people’s purchasing power and business expansion of local companies), and sluggish government spending.

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  • GDP Indonesia Update: Economic Growth 4.71% y/y in Q1-2015

    GDP Indonesia Update: Economic Growth 4.71% y/y in Q1-2015

    Indonesia’s economic growth in the first quarter of 2015 was recorded at 4.71 percent (y/y). Although it had been expected that Indonesia’s GDP growth figure would slip below the five percent mark, the slowdown was worse than initially expected. Suryamin, Head of Statistics Indonesia (BPS), stated earlier today (05/05) that the country’s economic growth slowed to a five-year low on the back of weak exports (the result of reduced economic growth in export markets) and lower crude oil prices.

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  • S&P Awaiting Results from Indonesia’s Economic Policy Reforms

    S&P Awaiting Results from Indonesia’s Economic Policy Reforms

    Global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s remains the only credit rating agency among the big three to maintain its BB+/stable rating on Indonesia’s sovereign credit (which is one notch below investment grade). Both Fitch Ratings (BBB-/stable) and Moody’s Investor Service (Baa3/stable) had already brought Indonesia back to investment grade in 2011 and 2012. Standard & Poor’s has been reluctant to raise Indonesia’s status as it wants to see more results from the country’s economic policy reforms.

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  • OECD on Indonesia’s Demographic Bonus, Protectionism & GDP Growth

    OECD on Indonesia’s Demographic Bonus, Protectionism & GDP Growth

    The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an intergovernmental organization that works with governments to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change, is positive about the economic prospects of Indonesia. However, the institution also emphasized that Indonesia needs to do its homework in order to benefit optimally from the country’s demographic bonus and to join the ranks of the upper-middle-income countries.

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  • World Bank Releases March 2015 Indonesia Economic Quarterly

    World Bank Releases March 2015 Indonesia Economic Quarterly

    The World Bank released its latest Indonesia Economic Quarterly report on 18 March 2015. In this report, entitled ‘High Expectations’, the World Bank states that it praises the early reform progress in several key areas such as fuel subsidies as well as more key reforms that are underway. This raises high expectations about the Indonesian economy in the middle and longer term. However, the government also faces challenges to implement further complex structural reforms amid subdued growth prospects.

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  • Indonesia Conference Fitch Ratings: “An Agenda for Change”

    Indonesia Conference Fitch Ratings: “An Agenda for Change”

    International credit rating agency Fitch Ratings will host its annual Indonesia conference, with the theme “An Agenda for Change”, on Thursday 5 March 2015. This year’s theme refers to the ongoing process of reform amid political, economic and social challenges in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. High government officials, leading economists and investors will take part in this conference. For example, Indonesian Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro is scheduled to make the opening keynote speech.

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Latest Columns Macroeconomy

  • Government Stance on Indonesian Economy and Investors' Reaction

    Last week Friday (30/08), Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) ended 2.23 percent up to the level of 4,195.09 points, continuing its three-day 'winning streak'. Underlying reasons being the central bank's new policy package (that was released as a response towards the negative impact of global turmoil on Indonesia's financial stability) and the higher benchmark interest rate (BI rate). The BI rate was raised 50 basis points on Thursday (29/08) to 7.0 percent to stabilize the weakening rupiah that fell to IDR 11,000 per US dollar.

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  • Indonesian Government Revises State Budgets of 2013 and 2014

    Indonesian Government Revises Macroeconomic Assumptions of 2013 and 2014

    The government of Indonesia has revised the macroeconomic assumptions that are stated in the State Budgets (APBN) of 2013 and 2014 after a meeting with the budgetary body of the House of Representatives (Badan Anggaran DPR) on Wednesday (28/08). It is the third time that the 2013 State Budget has been revised in order to put it more in line with recent global developments. As the government was also too optimistic when drafting the 2014 Budget, it felt the need for a revision (only 12 days after the announcement of the Budget).

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  • Global Markets Down due to Syria; Indonesia Stock Index Falls 3.71%

    Most of us who were hoping for a limited weakening of Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) today (27/08) were to be disappointed. Instead of a limited decline, the IHSG fell 3.71 percent to 3,967.84 points. Market participants are concerned about both the global and domestic economy, thus pulling money out from Indonesia. The weakening rupiah and weak stock index openings in Europe (due to tensions in Syria) pushed the IHSG further down into red territory. Foreign investors were again net sellers of Indonesian assets.

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  • Indonesian Government Develops Palm Oil Based Biodiesel to Curb Oil Import

    In order to curb imports of oil, the government of Indonesia intends to stimulate the production of crude palm oil-based biofuel by increasing the mandatory content of fatty acid methyl ester (which is made from palm oil) in biodiesel products from 7.5 percent to 10 percent. Through this policy, the government claims to be able to save up to USD $3 billion as it needs less fuel imports. Fuel imports totaled USD $5.8 billion in the first six months of 2013 and form a major cause for the USD $9.8 billion current account deficit in Q2-2013.

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  • Current Account Deficit of Indonesia Expected to Ease to 2.5% of GDP

    Indonesia's current account deficit, which caused much alarm among the investor community, is expected to ease to about 2.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the second half of 2013. This assumption is supported by Indonesia's central bank and various analysts. The country's current account deficit reached USD $9.8 billion or 4.4 percent of GDP in Q2-2013. In combination with the weakening rupiah, higher inflation and the possible end to the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program, investors have been pulling money out of Indonesia.

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  • Indonesian Government Reacts to the Impact of Global Financial Turmoil

    Despite the announcement of an economic policy package aimed at overcoming the impact of global financial turmoil, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) was not able to end the week on a positive note, while the value of the rupiah on the spot market depreciated 1.68 percent to IDR 11,058 per US dollar on Friday (23/08) amid a majority of strengthening Asian currencies, including the Indian rupee (0.67 percent) and the Thai baht (0.28 percent). Based on Bank Indonesia's mid rate, the rupiah fell 4.4 percent against the US dollar to IDR 10,848 last week.

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  • Bank Indonesia Takes Steps to Maintain Macroeconomic Stability

    Bank Indonesia Takes Steps to Maintain Macroeconomic Stability

    Similar to the Indonesian government, Indonesia's central bank also announced a fiscal policy package to support sustainable nationwide economic growth by curbing inflation, maintaining a more sustainable balance of payments as well as strengthening financial system stability. These additional policies are expected to synergise with the policy package unveiled by the government on Friday (23/08). These measures were taken as both the rupiah and Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) are in a downward spiral.

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  • Despite Government's 'Rescue Package' IHSG and Rupiah Weaken

    Today's release of the economic rescue package was not able to put Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) into green territory. Also, the Indonesian rupiah maintained its losing streak. The IHSG fell 0.04 percent to 4,169.83 points. Interestingly enough, the IHSG was rising previous to the release of the package. After the release, however, it started to weaken slightly, which seems to indicate that market participants were a bit disappointed with the contents of the package as it contained no quick fixes to the economy.

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  • Indonesian Government Releases 'Emergency Plan' to Support Economy

    Indonesian Government Releases 'Emergency Program' to Support Economy

    As had been announced previously, today (23/08) the government of Indonesia released an 'emergency plan' that aims to improve the financial sector while restoring confidence in the country's fundamentals as turmoil emerged on Indonesia's stock exchange, bonds market and the rupiah. Economic minister Hatta Rajasa said that this plan consists of four packages. These four packages cover the current account deficit, rupiah performance, economic growth, purchasing power, inflation and investments.

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  • Indonesia Stock Index (IHSG) and Rupiah Are Extending its Losing Streak

    On Tuesday (20/08), Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) continued its decline with its fourth consecutive day of losses. Amid major concerns about Indonesia's economic growth, high inflation, tighter monetary policy and current account deficit, the IHSG fell 3.21 percent to 4,174.98 points. It means that the index now stands about 21 percent lower than its record peak in May 2013. Foreign investors have been pulling money out of the Indonesian market. According to Bloomberg, about USD $255 million has been retracted in the last two days.

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