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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

  • 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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