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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

  • 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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