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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

  • 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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