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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

  • Indonesia Investment Summit 2015: Structural Reforms Needed

    At the Indonesia Investment Summit 2015, organized in Jakarta on 15-16 January 2015, Bank Indonesia official Arief Mahmud presented several views of the central bank on the current Indonesian economy and the global and domestic challenges that it faces. As is widely known, Indonesia has been experiencing a process of slowing economic growth since 2011 due to sluggish global economic growth in combination with the rebalancing of the domestic economy. However, growth is expected to accelerate in 2015.

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  • ADB Praises Indonesia’s Reform Efforts but GDP Growth Limited in 2015

    Takehiko Nakao, President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), estimates that the Indonesian economy will grow 5.6 percent year-on-year (y/y) in 2015, lower than the target that has been set by the Indonesian government in the 2015 State Budget (5.8 percent y/y). Nakao is slightly less optimistic as he expects a slowdown in government spending this year. On a positive note, Nakao’s forecast implies a sharp improvement in Indonesia’s economic growth in 2015 from an estimated 5.1 percentage point (y/y) GDP growth in 2014.

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  • Moody's Investors Service on Strength & Risks of the Indonesian Economy

    Moody's Investors Service on the Indonesian Economy

    Moody's Investors Service, a global bond credit rating agency, assigned a definitive rating of Baa3 (stable outlook) to Indonesian government notes maturing in 2025 and 2045 (these notes are issued under the government’s global medium-term note program). Moody’s said in a press release on Tuesday (13/01) that the Baa3 government bond rating is supported by the country’s narrow fiscal deficits, low public indebtedness, healthy economic growth prospects, and the large size of Indonesia’s economy.

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  • Bank Indonesia Concerned about Level of Privately-Held Foreign Debt

    The central bank of Indonesia recently issued new regulations (Bank Indonesia Regulation No. 16/21/PBI/2014 and External Circular No. 16/24/DKEM) that aim to safeguard Indonesia’s financial fundamentals. These new regulations, which are an improvement of Bank Indonesia Regulation No. 16/20/PBI/2014 dated Oct. 28 2014, force Indonesian non-bank corporations to apply prudent fiscal management regarding foreign-denominated debt. Bank Indonesia felt these rules are needed as privately-held foreign debt rises continuously.

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  • Update Indonesian Economy: Inflation, Trade Balance & Manufacturing

    Indonesia’s inflation reached 2.46 percent month-to-month (m/m) in December 2014 due to the impact of higher subsidized fuel prices implemented on 18 November 2014. On a year-on-year (y/y) basis, Indonesia’s inflation was recorded at 8.36 percent, slightly lower than the result in 2013 (8.38 percent). Inflation has been high in 2013 and 2014 as the Indonesian government raised prices of subsidized fuels in both years in an attempt to relieve fiscal pressures brought about by costly oil imports.

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  • Prudent Fiscal Management; IMF Positive about Indonesian Economy

    Prudent Fiscal Management; IMF Positive about Indonesian Economy

    A team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by David Cowen (advisor at the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department), visited several Indonesian cities in the first three weeks of December 2014 to conduct research on the economic fundamentals of Southeast Asia’s largest economy. This research included the study of recent macroeconomic developments as well as the formulation of prognosis scenarios for the short and middle term. The IMF team held discussions with the government, Bank Indonesia, private entrepreneurs and scholars.

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  • Foreign Debt of Indonesia Grew 10.7% y/y in October 2014

    External debt of Indonesia grew at a pace of 10.7 percent year-on-year (y/y) in October 2014, slightly slower than the 11.2 percentage point (y/y) growth pace in the previous month, according to a statement of Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia). Total outstanding external debt of Indonesia reached USD $294.5 billion in October (from USD $292.3 billion in the previous month). While growth of public sector external debt slowed in October, private sector external debt accelerated.

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  • Indonesia Needs +7% GDP Growth to Become High Income Country by 2030

    In order to avoid the middle-income trap and join the ranks of the high income countries by 2030 (reaching a per capita income level of at least USD $12,500), Indonesia needs to raise economic growth beyond the 7 percent year-on-year (y/y) level. If the current gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate is maintained (between 5 and 6 percent y/y) then it will take another decade to break from the middle income trap and become a high income country. However, GDP growth in 2014 is projected at a bleak 5.2 percent (y/y).

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  • Fitch Ratings Keeps Indonesia’s Sovereign Rating at BBB-/Stable

    International credit rating agency Fitch Ratings maintained Indonesia’s sovereign rating at BBB-/stable outlook (investment grade). Baradita Katoppo, President Director of Indonesia’s Fitch Ratings branch, said that the firm is positive about the country’s financial fundamentals and prudent fiscal policy as the central bank has showed to prefer stability over growth, resulting in slowing credit growth and rising foreign exchange reserves in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Economic growth is expected to fall to 5.1 percent (y/y) in 2014.

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  • Bank Indonesia Forces Companies to Hedge Foreign Debt

    Bank Indonesia Forces Companies to Hedge Foreign Debt

    Non-bank corporations in Indonesia that hold external (foreign-denominated) debt will be forced to hedge their foreign exchange holdings against the Indonesian rupiah with a ratio of 20 percent in the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015 in an effort to limit risks stemming from increased private sector external debt. At end-August 2014, privately-held foreign debt stood at USD $156.2 billion (53.8 percent of the country’s total external debt), increasing three-fold from end-2005 and thus jeopardizing macroeconomic stability.

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