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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

  • Overview of the Performance of Indonesia's Stock Market in 2013

    As we approach the end of 2013 it is worth taking a look back to the performance of the stock market of Indonesia this year. At the start of the year, investors and analysts were positive that the country's benchmark stock index (known as the IHSG or Jakarta Composite Index) would post steady growth. Initial forecasts claimed that the IHSG could surpass the 5,000 points level by the end of 2013 from 4,300 at end-2012. The actual performance of the IHSG in fact exceeded expectations as in May 2013 the index moved beyond 5,200 points.

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  • Indonesia’s External Debt Continues its Slowing Trend in October 2013

    Indonesia’s external debt growth continued to slow in October 2013. Debt grew 5.8 percent (yoy) to USD $262.4 billion compared to 8.6 percent (yoy) growth in the previous month. Slowing growth in external debt occurred both in the public and private sector. Public sector external debt position at the end of October 2013 grew 0.5 percent (yoy) to USD $125.8 billion compared to 2.1 percent (yoy) in September. Meanwhile, private sector external debt grew steadily at 11.1 percent (yoy) to USD $136.6 billion as compared to the previous month.

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  • Searching for Financial Stability: Indonesia's BI Rate Policy Questioned

    On Thursday 12 December 2013, Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) announced that the country's benchmark interest rate (BI rate) remains unchanged at the level of 7.50 percent in December 2013. This announcement was a bit surprizing as about 80 percent of analysts expected Bank Indonesia to raise the BI rate in order to support the depreciating Indonesia rupiah exchange rate. Starting the year at IDR 9,670 per US dollar, the rupiah has fallen around 25 percent to IDR 12,081 per US dollar.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Current Account Deficit Will Continue to Ease in 2014

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) estimates that Indonesia's current account deficit will ease to 3.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of 2013. Indonesia's wide current account deficit has been one of the major financial troubles this year and managed to weaken investors' confidence in Southeast Asia's largest economy. Thus, Indonesia became one of the hardest hit emerging countries after the Federal Reserve started to speculate about an ending to its quantitative easing program.

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  • Bank Indonesia's 7.50% Policy Rate in Line with Current Economic Conditions

    Bank Indonesia's 7.50% Policy Rate in Line with Current Economic Conditions

    In Bank Indonesia's board of governors' meeting, which was held on Thursday (12/12), it was decided to maintain the country's benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.50 percent. This decision was in line with market expectation but was unable to support the Jakarta Composite Index and rupiah exchange rate. The lending facility and deposit facility interest rates were also maintained at 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent respectively. Bank Indonesia decided not to change the rate as Indonesia's inflation outlook for 2014 is still within target.

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  • Monthly Economic Review: Overview of Indonesia's Macroeconomic Data

    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 November 2013 edition, a number of important issues 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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  • Indonesia Financial Market Update: Indonesia's Current Account Deficit

    Currently, one of Indonesia's main financial issues (and one which puts serious pressures on the Indonesian rupiah exchange rate) is the country's wide current account deficit. According to data from Statistics Indonesia, Indonesia's current account deficit totaled USD $8.4 billion in the third quarter of 2013. This figure is equivalent to a whopping 3.8 percent of Indonesia's gross domestic product (GDP). Generally, a current account deficit that exceeds 2.5 percent of GDP is considered unsustainable.

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  • ADB Report: Asia Should Strengthen Economies and Financial Systems

    Emerging East Asian countries should use the window of opportunity opened by the delay in US monetary policy normalization to strengthen their economies and financial systems, the latest quarterly Asia Bond Monitor from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) urges. “A delay in US bond tapering gives the region a bit of extra time to make sure its economy and financial systems are resilient enough to face the likely market volatility ahead,” said Iwan J. Azis, Head of ADB’s Office of Regional Economic Integration which produced the report.

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  • FOMC: Tapering of Quantitative Easing Might Start Sooner than Expected

    FOMC: Tapering of Quantitative Easing Might Start Sooner than Expected

    The Federal Reserve, central banking system of the United States, expects that the current economic recovery of the USA is set to continue. In the minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, held at end-October 2013, it is mentioned that within the next few months the Federal Reserve can start winding down its monthly USD $85 billion stimulus program (known as quantitative easing). The next FOMC meeting, which will shed more light on the future of the bond-buying program, is scheduled for December 2013.

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  • Bank Indonesia: Managing Stability and Promoting Transformation

    On Thursday 14 November 2013, Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia), delivered his end-of-the-year speech at the Annual Bankers’ Dinner. The meeting was attended by leaders from Indonesia's House of Representatives (DPR), economic ministers, leaders of the country's banking industry and business community, non-ministerial government agencies as well as a number of international institutions, thus representing a strategic forum in terms of the national economy.

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