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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

  • 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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