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Today's Headlines Macroeconomy

  • Indonesia's Unemployment Rate Rises Slightly in August 2013

    Indonesia's unemployment rate rose slightly in August 2013 from the same month last year. The country's open unemployment rate rose from 6.14 percent to 6.25 percent (of the total labour force). In absolute numbers this translates to 7.4 million jobless Indonesians. Head of Statistics Indonesia, Suryamin, said that Indonesia's slowing economic growth was the main reason for the rise in unemployment, while the supply of human resources increased. In the third quarter of 2013, Indonesia's GDP growth fell to 5.62 percent (yoy).

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  • Bank Indonesia: Indonesia's October Inflation Likely to Fall Below 0.26%

    Perry Warjiyo, Deputy Governor of Indonesia's Central Bank (Bank Indonesia), expects that the inflation rate in October 2013 will fall below 0.26 percent (which is the average October inflation rate since 2007). Warjiyo said that a survey of Bank Indonesia indicated that up to the third week of October, inflation had only reached 0.06 percent. Low inflation - or preferably deflation - is needed to curb Indonesia's current high inflation rate. In September 2013, annual inflation was recorded at 8.40 percent.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Indonesia's External Debt Growth Slowing in August 2013

    Indonesia’s foreign debt was recorded at USD $257.30 billion in August 2013, a 0.9 decrease compared to foreign debt in July 2013 (USD $259.61 billion). On an annual basis (yoy), foreign debt growth in August was 6.6 percent, thus slowing compared to July’s growth of 7.4 percent (yoy). The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) considers that the slowing growth in the country's foreign debt is in line with the slowing growth of the domestic economy. Indonesia's GDP growth forecast has been revised down to below the six percent mark.

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  • Sovereign Credit Rating of Indonesia held at BBB-/stable outlook

    The Rating and Investment Information Inc (R&I), a rating agency from Japan, kept Indonesia’s Sovereign Credit Rating at BBB- with a stable outlook. In their press release, R&I stated that the four key factors behind the decision are: (a) Indonesia’s capacity to achieve sustainable economic growth in the long term (at around six percent per year); (b) conservative fiscal management (causing a marginal fiscal deficit); (c) a sound banking sector; and (d) a low level of government debt.

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  • Indonesia's Current Account Deficit May Moderate to 2.6% in 2014

    A senior official at Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) stated that the country's current account deficit is expected to ease to 2.5 - 2.7 percent of Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP) by 2014. In the second quarter of 2013, the account deficit reached USD $9.8 billion or 4.4 percent of GDP in Q2-2013, an alarmingly high figure that has caused much concern among the investor community. This deficit is particularly brought on by a large deficit in the country's oil & gas sector in combination with strong domestic demand for imports.

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  • Indonesia's Foreign Exchange Reserves Grow 2.8% in September 2013

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced that Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves have increased slightly in September 2013. On 30 September, the reserves stood at USD $95.67 billion, a 2.88 percent increase from USD $92.99 billion one month earlier. The reserves in September are equivalent to 5.4 months of imports, or 5.2 months when servicing of government external debt is included. Recent US dollar demand for the import of oil is what put pressure on the reserves.

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  • World Bank: Indonesia's Resilience Tested, Adjustment Continues

    Indonesia’s economy continues to adjust, as weaker commodity prices, tighter international financing, and slowing domestic demand moderate the growth rate to 5.6 percent for 2013. This downward revision is discussed in the latest edition of the World Bank’s Indonesia Economic Quarterly (IEQ). Further moderation of growth (at 5.3 percent) may be expected in 2014, with growth in high income economies firming but international market conditions likely remaining volatile.

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  • Indonesian Government Expects Trade Deficit to Ease to USD $4 Billion

    Indonesia's trade deficit is expected to amount to USD $4 billion by the end of 2013, implying a moderation from the USD $5.54 billion deficit that emerged between January and August 2013. Indonesia's exports are forecast to decline by about 5 percent in the remainder of 2013 due to the weak global environment, particularly with the current ongoing political uncertainties in the USA. As such, in order to combat the deficit, the government intends to limit imports. Next year, Indonesia will most likely continue to post a trade deficit.

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  • Bank Indonesia and China Extend Bilateral Currency Swap Arrangement

    Bank Indonesia and China Extend Bilateral Currency Swap Arrangement

    Governor of Bank Indonesia, Agus Martowardojo and Governor of the People’s Bank of China, Zhou Xiaochuan, signed an extension to the Bilateral Currency Swap Arrangement (BCSA), representing a tangible manifestation of strong financial cooperation between both central banks in the areas of monetary policy and financial system stability. “The agreement reflects regional commitment in the face of global uncertainty and will contribute propitiously towards maintaining macroeconomic and domestic financial stability,” emphasized Martowardojo.

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  • Indonesian Government Preparing Additional Policy Approach Package

    The government of Indonesia is busy preparing an extra package of policy responses aimed at stabilizing Indonesia's financial markets. Previously, the government had released a sort of 'rescue package' in late August after the rupiah depreciated sharply and the country's stock indices plunged. Panic had emerged due to the looming end of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program. Coupled with internal issues, it resulted in robust capital outflows from Indonesia. The new package will be released in October.

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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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