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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

  • Official Press Release of Bank Indonesia: BI Rate Kept at 7.50%

    Official Press Release of Bank Indonesia: BI Rate Kept at 7.50%

    At Bank Indonesia's Board of Governors’ Meeting today (13/02), it was decided to maintain the country's benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent as well as the interest rates on the Lending Facility and Deposit Facility at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent respectively. The policy is consistent with the tight monetary policy stance currently adopted in order to steer inflation back towards its target corridor of 4.5±1 percent in 2014 and 4±1 percent in 2015, as well as to reduce the current account deficit to a more sustainable level.

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  • Is Foreign Confidence in Indonesia’s Capital Market Restored in 2014?

    In 2013, Indonesia experienced a rough year in terms of stock trading. The world was shocked by Ben Bernanke’s speech in late May 2013 in which he hinted at an end to the Federal Reserve’s large monthly USD $85 billion bond-buying program known as quantitative easing. Through this program, cheap US dollars found their way to lucrative yet riskier assets in emerging economies, including Indonesia. But when the end of the program was in sight, the market reacted by pulling billions of US dollars from emerging market bonds and equities.

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  • ICRA Indonesia’s Economic Review; an Update on the Macroeconomy

    ICRA Indonesia, an independent credit rating agency and subsidiary of ICRA Ltd. (associate of Moody's Investors Service), publishes a monthly newsletter which provides an update on the financial and economic developments in Indonesia of the last month. In the January 2014 edition, a number of important topics that are monitored include Indonesia's inflation rate, the trade balance, the current account deficit, the IDR rupiah exchange rate, and gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Below is an excerpt of the newsletter:

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  • Analysis of Indonesia's 5.78% Economic Expansion in 2013

    Analysis of Indonesia's 5.78% Economic Expansion in 2013

    On Wednesday (05/02), Statistics Indonesia (BPS) reported that the economy of Indonesia expanded 5.78 percent in 2013. This result implies that in 2013 Indonesia experienced the slowest pace of GDP growth since its 4.63 percentage growth in 2009. However, this slowing growth was basically self-inflicted as both the Indonesian government and central bank (Bank Indonesia) used various monetary and fiscal policies to curb economic expansion in order to tackle several financial issues.

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  • Indonesia's Chamber of Commerce: Economic Growth Will Slow in 2014

    Indonesia's Chamber of Commerce: Economy Will Slow in 2014

    This year, legislative and presidential elections will be held in Indonesia. Obviously, there is a strong relationship between the politics and economics of a country. Businessmen from various sectors of Indonesia's economy have already been voicing their views. As the umbrella organization of the Indonesian business chambers and associations, Kadin Indonesia recently shared its views about the elections as well. The institute believes that the 2014 elections will run smoothly because Indonesia's democracy has matured.

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  • Debt of Indonesia Rising but Healthy with Public Debt-to-GDP Ratio at 28.7%

    Total government debt of Indonesia rose IDR 781 trillion (USD $64.5 billion) between 2009 and 2013 to IDR 2,371.39 trillion (USD $196 billion). This growing outstanding government debt is mainly caused by government loans to finance its State Budgets (APBN) as well as recent sharp rupiah depreciation (as part of this debt is denominated in foreign currencies). In the same period, Indonesia's per capita debt rose from IDR 6.8 million (USD $561) to IDR 8.6 million (USD $710), a 26.4 percent growth.

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  • Standard Chartered Bank: Indonesian Economy Expands 5.8% in 2014

    Standard Chartered Bank: Indonesian Economy Expands 5.8% in 2014

    The Standard Chartered Bank expects Indonesia's economy to expand 5.8 percent in 2014, followed by a 6 percentage growth in 2015 as an improving global economy has a positive effect on emerging economies, including Indonesia. The world economy is estimated to grow between 3.2 and 3.5 percent this year and expected to accelerate to 3.8 percent in 2015. David Mann, the regional Head of Research at the Standard Chartered Bank in Asia, said that Indonesia's economic performance in 2013 was negatively influenced by external factors.

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  • ICRA Indonesia’s Monthly Economic Review; a Macroeconomic Update

    ICRA Indonesia, an independent credit rating agency and subsidiary of ICRA Ltd. (associate of Moody's Investors Service), publishes a monthly newsletter which provides an update on the financial and economic developments in Indonesia of the last month. In the December 2013 edition, a number of important topics that are monitored include Indonesia's inflation rate, the trade balance, the current account deficit, the IDR rupiah exchange rate, and gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Below is an excerpt of the newsletter:

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  • Official Press Release Bank Indonesia: Interest Rates Left Unchanged

    Today, Bank Indonesia kept its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent at the Board of Governors’ meeting. The lending facility rate and deposit facility rate were maintained at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent respectively. An assessment of the economy in 2013 and outlook for 2014-2015 indicated that such policy is consistent with ongoing efforts to keep inflation within the target of 4.5±1 percent in 2014 and 4±1 percent in 2015, as well as to help reduce the current account deficit to a sustainable level.

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  • From BRIC to MINT Countries: Will Indonesia Become a Powerhouse?

    From BRIC to MINT Countries: Will Indonesia Become the Next Powerhouse?

    Over a decade ago, economist Jim O'Neill became famous for the introduction of the term BRIC (indicating the promising economic perspectives of Brazil, Russia, India and China). Now the BRICs have lost some of its significance, he has turned to a new acronym: MINT. These MINT countries - consisting of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey - share a number of features that make them potential giant economies in the future: promising demographic structure, strategic geographical location, and commodity-rich soil.

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