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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

  • Indonesia Economic Update & Analysis: Opportunities Arise?

    It seems clear now how market conditions will be until the end of the year. Two important foreign issues - the US Federal Reserve's tapering of quantitative easing (QE3) as well as the US debt ceiling issue which resulted in a shutdown as the Democrats and Republicans failed to come to an agreement on the country's federal budget - and various economic data from Indonesia (inflation and the trade balance) have provided some more insight into the matter. I will discuss each topic one by one below.

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  • Indonesia's Inflation Eases to 8.40% as September Shows Deflation of 0.35%

    After three months of high monthly inflation rates, Indonesia's inflation eased in September due to falling prices of food, transportation, communications and financial services after the Muslim celebrations of Idul Fitri, which always cause a spike in inflation, have passed. In September 2013, Indonesia posted deflation of 0.35 percent. It was the first time in 12 years that the country posted deflation in this month. The annual inflation rate eased to 8.40 percent from 8.79 percent in August 2013.

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  • Bank Indonesia Press Release: August Trade Surplus, September Deflation

    Inflationary pressures eased in September 2013 to a 0.35% rate of deflation (mtm), or 8.40% (yoy). The rate of deflation exceeded the projections contained within the Price Monitoring Survey conducted by Bank Indonesia and much lower than inflation expectations by some analysts. Abundant supply in the wake of horticultural harvests (shallots and chilli peppers), triggered a deep correction in food prices. In addition, sliding beef prices also exacerbated further deflationary pressures, with volatile foods recording deflation of 3.38% (mtm).

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  • Indonesia's Economic Growth in Q3-2013 Expected to Fall below 5.8%

    Indonesia's Economic Growth in Q3-2013 Expected to Fall below 5.8%

    The slowdown of Indonesia's economic growth is expected to continue into the third quarter of 2013. The Indonesian government predicts that economic growth will fall below the GDP growth figure realized in the second quarter (5.8 percent). Acting Head of the Fiscal Policy Agency Bambang Brodjonegoro stated that the main factor that causes the country's slowing economic growth in Q3-2013 is reduced household consumption. Domestic consumption in Indonesia accounts for about 55 percent of the country's GDP growth.

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  • No Tapering is Bullish? The Federal Reserve Playing with the Global Market

    Starting from May 2013, Indonesia's benchmark stock index (IHSG) has been on a weakening (bearish) trend inflicted by various reasons. First, in early May, Standard & Poor's downgraded Indonesia's credit rating due to the government's hesitancy to slash fuel subsidies. Then, the Federal Reserve started to speculate about ending its quantitative easing program. Capital outflows that followed indicated the vulnerable state of the Indonesian economy. Moreover, the controversial hike in fuel prices in late-June resulted in high inflation.

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  • Indonesia's Falling Cement Sales in August 2013 Indicate Slowing Economy

    Indonesia's Falling Cement Sales in August 2013 Indicate Slowing Economy

    According to data from the Indonesian Cement Association (ASI), domestic cement sales have fallen 5.8 percent to 3.3 million tons in August 2013 (from the same month last year). Being an important indicator of economic expansion (as cement sales inform about the development of property and infrastructure projects in the country), these lower cement sales confirm the slowing pace of economic growth in Indonesia. Compared to July 2013, cement sales in Indonesia fell by a massive 32 percent.

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  • World Bank: Logistics Costs Reduce Economic Potential of Indonesia

    World Bank Report: Logistic Costs Reduce Economic Potential of Indonesia

    In its most recent report regarding Indonesia's economy, the World Bank states that high logistic costs form a serious impediment to the country's economic growth. The report, titled Annual Logistics Report, is compiled by Bandung Institute of Technology’s Research Center for Logistics and Supply Chains, the Indonesian Logistics Association (ALI), the STC Group, Panteia Research Institute, and the World Bank Indonesia Office. The report provides an analysis and overview of the progress made in tackling the problem of logistics in Indonesia.

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  • Indonesia Jumps to No. 38 in Global Competitiveness Index 2013-2014

    Indonesia Jumps to No. 38 in Global Competitiveness Index 2013-2014

    In recent weeks, Indonesia has to cope with a large amount of negative publicity as large capital outflows from the country's financial markets occurred, partly due to weak economic results regarding the current account balance, inflation and the the rupiah. Interest rates are rising, thus eroding people's purchasing power and consequently curbing economic growth. However, the Global Competitiveness Index 2013-2014, released by World Economic Forum, contained a positive outcome for Southeast Asia's largest economy.

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  • Fitch Ratings: Major Indonesian Banks Resilient Against Market Turmoil

    Fitch Ratings: Major Indonesian Banks Resilient Against Market Turmoil

    According to global credit rating and research agency Fitch Ratings, Indonesia's major banks are robust against the rupiah currency slide due to their low unhedged foreign currency exposure, strong loss-absorption cushions and - in some cases - foreign ownership. The slowdown in the economy will weigh on these (rated) banks' operating environment, but is unlikely to damage their credit profiles to any great extent. Below we provide Fitch Ratings' report. This report can also be accessed on their website.

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  • Indonesia Manufacturing PMI Contracts Sharply in August 2013

    Indonesia Manufacturing PMI Contracts Sharply in August 2013

    HSBC's latest release of the Indonesia Manufacturing PMI did not paint a positive picture as Indonesia's manufacturing activity was reported to have contracted sharply in August 2013. The index declined to a 15-month low amid a contraction of output, new orders and export business. Payroll numbers fell at the fastest rate in the history of the HSBC survey. The August index stood at 48.5, down from 50.7 in July 2013, and marks the fourth consecutive month of decline. A reading below 50.0 indicates a contraction in manufacturing activity.

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