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Today's Headlines Macroeconomy

  • Bank Indonesia Plans Extra Board Meeting, Interest Rates May Rise

    Governor of the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) Agus Martowardojo said that the central bank will respond to current market conditions on Thursday (29/08). Bank Indonesia will have an extra board meeting to discuss measures to safeguard Indonesia's financial stability. It will touch matters such as macro-prudential policy, the interest rate and currency control. Normally, the central bank meets once per month but Martowardojo felt that this extra meeting is needed as the next scheduled meeting (12/09) is too far away.

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  • Chatib Basri: GDP Growth Indonesia in 2014 Should Be Revised Down to 6%

    Finance minister Chatib Basri said that the Indonesian government should revise its outlook for GDP growth in 2014 from 6.4% (mentioned in the 2014 State Budget) to about 6.0%. A more realistic outlook, which is in line with the current global and domestic financial context, is needed. Global uncertainty due to the possible ending of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program has resulted in capital outflows from emerging markets, including Indonesia. Various countries, developed and emerging ones, have lowered outlooks for 2014 GDP growth.

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  • Government's 2014 Macroeconomic Assumptions Ambitious but Unrealistic

    The macroeconomic assumptions that have been formulated in the 2014 State Budget Draft by the government of Indonesia are not considered too realistic by several analysts. Although it is understood that one should set a high standard in order to maximize efforts, analysts feel that - given the current problematic economic context in Asian emerging economies as well as global economic turmoil - the government is far too optimistic, particularly because the government will have to devote part of its attention to the elections in mid-2014.

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  • Indonesia's Per Capita GDP Expected to Rise to USD $5,000 by 2014

    President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, mentioned in his speech ahead of the Independence Day that Indonesia's per capita GDP is expected to rise to USD $5,000 by 2014. An increasing per capita GDP triggers domestic consumption among Indonesia's rapidly expanding middle class segment and thus forms a catalyst for economic activity in the country. As can be seen in the table below, Indonesia's per capita GDP grew steadily between 2006 and 2012. In 2010, it hit the important level of USD $3,000.

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  • Bank Indonesia Keeps Key BI Rate at 6.50% to Support Economic Growth

    Indonesia's central bank, Bank Indonesia, decided today (15/08) to keep its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 6.50 percent. In recent days, heavy speculation emerged about whether Bank Indonesia would raise the BI rate for the third consecutive time in three months as the country is plagued by higher inflation (8.61 percent year-on-year in July 2013) and a weakening rupiah. Reluctance to raise the interest rate again seems to indicate that the Bank gives priority to economic growth, which has slid to a three-year low at 5.81 percent in Q2-2013.

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  • China's Financial Figures Impact Positive on Most Asian Indices

    Both China's imports and exports in July 2013 showed a rebound as they increased above expectation. Exports of the world's second-largest economy rose 5.1 percent (YoY), while imports surged 10.9 percent (which suggest improving domestic consumption). These results led to most Asian markets being up on Thursday (08/08). China's economy has been slowing down amid weak global demand and efforts to avert a credit boom. In 2012, the country's economy expanded 7.8 percent, the slowest pace in 23 years.

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  • Indonesia's Most Populous Island Java Continues to Dominate the Economy

    The economy of Indonesia continues to be dominated by the island of Java, Indonesia's most populous island with around 130 million people or 60 percent of Indonesia's total population. In the second quarter of 2013, Java contributed 58.15 percent to the nation's total economic growth. Far behind Java are Sumatra (23.90 percent) and Kalimantan (8.73 percent). Within Java, the Greater Jakarta area accounts for 16.50 percent of the country's total economic growth, followed by East Java (15.21 percent) and West Java (14.05 percent).

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  • Indonesia's Economic Growth Slows Down to 5.81% in Q2-2013

    Today (02/08), Indonesia's bureau for statistics announced that economic growth of Indonesia in the second quarter of 2013 reached 5.81 percent (YoY), which is the lowest growth rate since Q3-2010 and also lower than most analysts as well as the Indonesian government expected. The GDP figure reflects Indonesia's cooling economy. For the fourth consecutive quarter, the rate has weakened as the country has been under pressure: high inflation, a widening trade deficit and a weakening rupiah.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Indonesia's Inflation Rate will Ease to 4.5% in 2014

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) expects inflation to moderate to 4.5 percent in 2014 if the country's current account balance can be turned into a surplus. Currently, Indonesia's trade balance shows a deficit as global demand for Indonesia's commodities has reduced due to international economic turmoil, while Indonesia continues to import large quantities of oil. If the deficit can be reversed into a surplus it will curtail inflation and automatically have a positive impact on Indonesia's currency (IDR rupiah).

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  • Standard Chartered Bank Positive about Indonesia's Economic Potential

    Standard Chartered Bank expects economic growth in Indonesia in 2013 to remain robust at 6.2%. The bank believes this is a realistic assumption amid global economic uncertainty and higher subsidized fuel prices which limits people's purchasing power. The greatest pillar of support for Indonesia's GDP growth is domestic consumption, and which is supported by Indonesia's demographic composition as the country not only has a large population (over 240 million people), but also a young one (half of the population is below thirty years of age).

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Latest Columns Macroeconomy

  • Indonesia's Main Stock Index (IHSG): the Ship that is Rocked by a Storm

    For several weeks now, Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) has been experiencing a sharp correction. As I wrote in my previous columns, market participants have been waiting for several important macro economic data, to wit Indonesia's economic growth figure for the second quarter of 2013, the July 2013 inflation rate, and the country's trade balance statistics for the first six months of this year. Now all above results have been released, we can analyze further the impact of these macroeconomic results as well as investors' reaction to it.

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  • Indonesia's Foreign Exchange Reserves Fall, Current Account Deficit Grows

    The foreign exchange reserves of Indonesia keep on falling from its historical peak of USD $124.64 billion in August 2011 to USD $92.67 billion at the end of July 2013. This development seems to highlight long-standing weaknesses in Indonesia's sovereign's external finances, as credit agency Fitch Ratings detected on several occasions before. The republic of Indonesia is currently characterized by four deficits, to wit a current account deficit, a balance of payments deficit, a trade balance deficit and a fiscal deficit.

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  • Slowing Growth in Indonesian Cement Sales Continues in Semester II

    Slowing Growth in Indonesian Cement Sales Continues in Semester II

    Cement sales in Indonesia grew by seven percent to 32.9 million tons in the period January to July 2013. This pace of growth is significantly lower compared to the double-digit cement growth rate last year and thus forms another sign of cooling economic growth in Southeast Asia's largest economy (cement sales are a good indicator to measure the state of economic growth of a country). A slowdown in domestic cement sales is likely to continue in the second half of 2013, partly due to a decline in infrastructure projects.

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  • Revised Tax Holiday and Tax Allowance to Attract Investments in Indonesia

    Revised Tax Holiday and Tax Allowance to Attract Investments in Indonesia

    Apart from the five tax incentives that I have mentioned in a previous column, the Indonesian government also intends to ease two other tax rules in order to boost investments in Indonesia from 2014 onwards. These are the tax holiday and tax allowance. Relaxation of the tax holiday involves an alteration to the period as well as the size of the investment, and relaxation of procedural difficulties. Relaxation of the tax allowance involves the revision of the number of sectors that are eligible and a relaxation of procedures in the form of tax clearance.

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  • Bank Indonesia Raises Interest Rate to fight Inflation and Support the Rupiah

    Today, Bank Indonesia surprised many analysts and investors by raising its benchmark interest rate by 50 bps to 6.50 percent. Indonesia's central bank assessed that this measure is the correct one with regard to supporting the IDR rupiah (which is one of the worst Asian currencies against the US dollar this year) and to fight higher inflation after the government decided to cut fuel subsidies in June. It expects inflation to peak in July at about 2.3 percent (month to month) but to moderate soon afterwards.

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  • Central Bank of Indonesia Outlines its Macroeconomic Assumptions

    Bank Indonesia Macro Economy Indonesia Investments Richard van der Schaar

    Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) expects that economic growth of Indonesia in 2013 will not meet the government's target as has been set in the revised State Budget (APNB-P). Last month, both government and parliament of Indonesia agreed on a revised GDP growth assumption of 6.3 percent. However, Bank Indonesia believes that, due to slowing domestic consumption and investments in the current global economic context, the growth is more likely to fall between 5.8 and 6.2 percent.

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  • Draghi's Statement Results in Rising Stock Indices in Europe on Thursday

    Without any support from the United States, where Wall Street was closed due to the 4th of July festivities, stock indices in Europe found their way up. President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, caused positive market sentiments after stating that the interest rate will remain low for a long while and that the current monetary (easing) policy will remain unchanged. Stock indices in Germany, France, Great Britain and the Netherlands went up between 2.1 and 3.1 percent on Thursday's trading day (04/07).

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  • Two Important Questions in Indonesia's Highly Volatile Market

    Indonesia's main stock index (IHSG) moved wildly last week. During the first two days of the week, the index fell to 4,609.95 points, which is considerably below its record high level of 5,214 on 20 May 2013. However, on the last trading day of the week (14/06), a 3.32 percent recovery occurred. Generally, it were domestic market participants that supported the IHSG. Foreign market participants continued to sell parts of their Indonesian stock portfolios. Total foreign selling totaled IDR 9 trillion (USD $910.4 million) last week.

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  • Press Release of Bank Indonesia: BI Rate Raised by 25 bps to 6.00%

    Less than 24 hours after having raised the overnight deposit facility rate (known as Fasbi) by 25 bps to 4.25 percent, Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) also raised its benchmark interest rate (known as the BI rate) by 25 bps to 6.0 percent. Both these policy responses were conducted in order to support the IDR rupiah, which is one of the worst performing Asian currencies against the US dollar in 2013. Indonesia's central bank expects growing inflationary pressures as the Indonesian government intends to cut fuel subsidies this June.

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  • Indonesia's Current Account Deficit Improves in the First Quarter of 2013

    Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia or BI) announced on Wednesday (15/05/13) that the country's external balance has improved during Q1-2013 as non-oil and gas trade were up. Indonesia's current account deficit stood at USD $5.3 billion (2.4 percent of GDP) in Q1-2013, compared to the previous quarter's deficit of USD $7.6 billion (3.5 percent of GDP). Indonesia has experienced a widening trade deficit, although it recorded a trade surplus of USD $304.90 in March, the first trade surplus since September 2012.

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