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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

  • Update Indonesian Economy: Economic Growth and Financial Stability

    Despite rising concerns about the slowing pace of the Indonesian economy, the deputy minister of Finance Bambang Brodjonegoro reminded investors that Indonesia's economic growth in the third quarter of 2013 still constitutes one of the highest growth rates around the globe. Economic expansion in Q3-2013 slid to 5.6% in Southeast Asia's largest economy. With the exception of China (7.8% GDP growth in Q3-2013), Indonesia's growth continues to outpace growth in other emerging markets, such as Brazil (3.3%) and Turkey (4%).

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  • Market Update: IPOs on the Indonesia Stock Exchange in 2013

    Market Update: IPOs on the Indonesia Stock Exchange in 2013

    Five more new public listings are expected on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) in the remainder of 2013 despite the current less rosy macroeconomic environment in Indonesia. The companies that are expected to conduct their initial public offering (IPO) are Indomobil Multi Jasa, Dwi Aneka Jaya Kemasindo, Blue Bird, Soechi Lines, and Sawit Sumbermas Sarana. So far this year, 26 Indonesian companies went public on the IDX. At the start of the year, the IDX targeted for at least 30 new listings in 2013.

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  • Bank Indonesia Raises Benchmark Interest Rate (BI Rate) to 7.50%

    Bank Indonesia decided to raise the BI rate by 25 bps to the level of 7.50 percent, with the Lending Facility rate and Deposit Facility rate raised to 7.50 percent and 5.75 percent respectively. This policy was taken in light of the persistently large current account deficit amid widespread global uncertainty. Therefore, the decision was taken in order to ensure that the current account deficit is reduced to a more sound level and inflation in 2014 returns to around 4.5±1 percent, thereby supporting sustainable economic growth.

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  • Indonesian Economic and Financial Update: Challenges in October

    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 October 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:

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  • Analysis of Indonesia’s 5.62% Economic Growth Rate (GDP) in Q3-2013

    Indonesia will most likely not meet its original GDP growth target of 6.3 percent (stipulated in the 2013 State Budget). Yesterday (06/11), it was announced by Statistics Indonesia that Indonesia’s GDP growth figure in the third quarter of 2013 was recorded at 5.62 percent (year-on-year, yoy), the weakest quarterly growth figure since 2009 when the global financial crisis impacted on Southeast Asia’s largest economy. In 2013, Indonesia feels the global impact again, in combination with domestic factors.

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  • Analysis of Indonesia's October Inflation and September Trade Deficit

    Analysis of Indonesia's October Inflation and September Trade Deficit

    Indonesia's October inflation rate was well-received by investors. On Friday (01/11), Statistics Indonesia (BPS) announced that the country's inflation in October 2013 grew 0.09 percent. Easing inflation was mainly due to falling prices of raw foods and clothes. Year-on-year (yoy), however, Indonesia's inflation is still high at 8.32 percent, although showing a moderating trend from 8.40 percent (yoy) in September 2013 and 8.79 percent (yoy) in August 2013. Inflation had skyrocketed after subsidized fuel prices were raised by an average 33 percent in June.

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  • Agreement Bank Indonesia and the Indonesian Financial Services Authority

    Today (18/10), the Governor of Bank Indonesia and the Chairman of the Indonesian Financial Services Authority (OJK) signed an agreement concerning “cooperation and coordination to support task implementation at Bank Indonesia and OJK”. The agreement forms a basis for expediting and optimising coordination between both organisations in terms of their function, task and authority in light of the upcoming transfer of the banking regulation and supervision function from Bank Indonesia to OJK on 31 December 2013.

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  • Economic Update Indonesia: Interest Rate, Inflation, GDP and Trade Balance

    Bank Indonesia’s Board of Governors decided to hold the BI Rate at a level of 7.25 percent, with rates on the Lending Facility and Deposit Facility held respectively at 7.25 percent and 5.50 percent. Bank Indonesia will continue to monitor global and domestic developments and further synergise the monetary and macroprudential policy mix in order to ensure that inflationary pressures remain under control, that rupiah exchange rate stability is maintained according to its fundamentals and the current account deficit is reduced to a sustainable level.

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  • IMF Direct Forum: How Emerging Markets Can Get Their Groove Back

    IMF Direct Forum: How Emerging Markets Can Get Their Groove Back

    After a decade of high growth and a swift rebound after the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers, emerging markets are seeing slowing growth. Their average growth is now 1½ percentage points lower than in 2010 and 2011. This is a widespread phenomenon: growth has been slowing in roughly three out of four emerging markets. This share is remarkably high; in the past, such synchronized and persistent slowdowns typically have only occurred during acute crises.

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  • Indonesia's Consumer Confidence Rises Slightly in September 2013

    Indonesia's Consumer Confidence Rises Slightly in September 2013

    The Consumer Confidence Index of Indonesia rose 0.9 percent in September 2013 after having fallen 8.4 percent in the previous month. In September, the index rose because Indonesian consumers are more confident about prospects of the Indonesian economy, while concerns about the increase of certain food prices eased. Purbaya Yudhi Sadewa, chief economist at the Danareksa Research Insititute, said that in September 77.4 percent of consumers were concerned about rising food prices, down from 82.5 percent in August.

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