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Today's Headlines Macroeconomy

  • IMF: Slowing Growth and Widening Macro-Imbalances in Indonesia

    IMF: Slowing Growth and Widening Macro-imbalances in Indonesia

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) detects a slowdown in GDP growth in major emerging market economies and decline in commodity prices, and more recently, a reversal in push factors tied to a prospective exit from extraordinarily easy global monetary conditions, has put pressure on Indonesia’s balance of payments and heightened its vulnerability to shocks. Domestic policy accommodation and rising energy subsidies have also given rise to increased external and fiscal imbalances.

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  • Enhanced Financial Cooperation Central Banks of Indonesia and Japan

    Enhanced Financial Cooperation Central Banks of Indonesia and Japan

    The Bank of Japan (BoJ) and Bank Indonesia (BI) signed the third Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA) on 12 December 2013. The arrangement is an expansion of the current BSA which almost doubles the size of the facility from USD $12 billion to $22.76 billion. This arrangement also introduces a new feature in the form of a crisis prevention scheme to support potential and/or actual liquidity needs. Both institutions also agreed to establish a cross-border liquidity arrangement to enhance the stability of financial markets.

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  • Indonesia's Foreign Exchange Reserves Unchanged in November 2013

    Indonesia's Foreign Exchange Reserves Unchanged in November 2013

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced that Indonesia’s official reserve assets totaled USD $97.0 billion at the end of November 2013 thus unchanged from the end of the previous month. Bank Indonesia stated that this amount is equivalent to 5.5 months of import or 5.3 months of import and servicing of government external debt. After having grown sharply in recent years, Indonesia's foreign exchange reserves have fallen from USD $112.8 billion at end-2012 as Bank Indonesia tried to support the depreciating rupiah exchange rate.

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  • OECD: Strong Growth in Indonesia but Takes Time to be High-Income Economy

    The latest report of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), titled "Structural Policy Challenges in Indonesia", mentions that Indonesia - with an annual GDP growth projection of about 6 percent - is estimated to be the country with the highest level of economic growth among the ASEAN countries between 2014 and 2018. The report is positive about the region's economic future that lies ahead, particularly China, despite the global crisis having managed to slow down economic expansion.

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  • Indonesia's Economic Growth in 2014: Growing or Slowing?

    Despite the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) having revised down their forecasts for Indonesia's economic growth in 2014, the Center for Economic and Public Policy Studies (Pusat Studi Ekonomi dan Kebijakan Publik) expects that the country's economy will grow stronger in 2014 than this year. In 2014, the World Bank and IMF expect Indonesia's gross domestic product to grow 5.4 percent and 5.5 percent respectively. Both estimates are 0.2 percent down from their GDP growth forecasts for the year 2013.

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  • Slowing Economic Growth: What about Indonesia's Property Sector in 2014?

    Opinions about the growth prospects of Indonesia's property sector in 2014 have turned rather negative amid the country's slowing economic expansion, tighter monetary policy (mortgage restrictions and higher down payment rules), the depreciating rupiah and uncertainties about the country's legislative and presidential elections in mid-2014. In 2012 and the first half of 2013, Indonesia's property sector had been investors' darling showing spectacular growth amid a booming economy, high housing demand and a low interest environment.

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  • In Anticipation of Tapering, Bank Indonesia May Raise its BI Rate Again

    In Anticipation of Tapering, Bank Indonesia May Raise its BI Rate Again

    Several analysts expect that the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) will raise its key interest rate (BI rate) again in the first Semester of 2014 in order to anticipate the winding down of the Federal Reserve's monthly USD $85 billion stimulus program (quantitative easing). Currently, the BI rate is set at 7.50 percent but analysts say that the market should be prepared for a hike to 8.0 percent in the first half of 2014. Between June and November 2013, Bank Indonesia has already raised its benchmark interest rate from 5.75 to 7.50 percent.

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  • Agus Martowardojo Comments on Indonesia's Macroeconomy in 2014

    Agus Martowardojo Comments on Indonesia's Macroeconomy in 2014

    Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Indonesia's central bank, expects the Indonesian economy to consolidate in 2014. The country is currently experiencing an economic correction with GDP growth slowing to 5.62 percent in the third quarter of 2013. Martowardojo said that the current account deficit still needs time to reach a healthy level. Indonesia's current account deficit stood at USD $8.4 billion (equivalent to 3.8 percent of the country's GDP) in the third quarter of 2013, down from USD $9.8 billion (4.4 percent of GDP) in the second quarter.

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  • Fitch Ratings: Indonesia's Major Banks Able to Withstand Higher NPLs

    Fitch Ratings: Indonesia's Major Banks Able to Withstand Higher NPLs

    Despite Indonesia's macroeconomic conditions and liquidity experiencing a correction, Fitch Ratings believes that Indonesia's major banks are able to withstand a reasonably high degree of asset-quality stress, mainly due to the banks' strong standalone loss absorption cushions and likely support from highly rated foreign parent companies. Because of the banks' sound earnings buffers, they are expected to cope with the higher non-performing loans (NPLs) which are expected to emerge in the next one or two years ahead.

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  • Bank Indonesia Expects Indonesia's Economy to Grow 5.7% in 2013

    Agus Martowardojo, Governor of Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia), stated that the country's economy is expected to grow 5.7 percent in 2013. Bank Indonesia believes GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 to fall below the growth figure realized in Q3-2013 (5.62 percent). Martowardojo said that the government needs to continue measures to improve the country's exports, while trying to curtail imports of oil and gas as domestic demand for fuels remained high, even after the increase in prices of subsidized fuels in June 2013.

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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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