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Today's Headlines Macroeconomy

  • Current Account & Balance of Payments of Indonesia Improved in 2014

    Current Account & Balance of Payments of Indonesia Improved in 2014

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) announced on Friday (13/02) that Indonesia’s current account deficit - the broadest measure of trade in goods and services - improved to 2.81 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), or USD $6.2 billion, in the fourth quarter of 2014 (from a revised 2.99 percent of GDP in the preceding quarter). The full-year 2014 deficit amounted to USD $26.2 billion, equivalent to 2.95 percent of GDP from a (revised) deficit of USD $29.1 billion (3.18 percent of GDP) in 2013.

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  • IMF & Moody’s Outlook on the Indonesian and World Economy

    IMF & Moody’s Outlook on the Indonesian and World Economy

    Benedict Bingham, Senior Resident Representative for Indonesia at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), expects that the central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) will remain committed to the tighter monetary policy in a bid to safeguard the country’s fiscal fundamentals amid external pressures. Apart from sluggish global economic growth, the looming interest rate hike in the USA (later this year) is expected to rock Indonesia as it will trigger capital outflows from emerging markets.

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  • Economic Growth of Indonesia Hits Five-Year Low at 5.02% in 2014

    Economic Growth of Indonesia Hits Five-Year Low at 5.02% in 2014

    The economy of Indonesia expanded 5.02 percent year-on-year (y/y) to IDR 8,354 trillion (USD $664 billion) in 2014, the nation’s slowest annual growth pace since 2009, according to the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS). As such, GDP growth failed to achieve the central government’s 5.5 percentage point growth target that was set in the 2014 State Budget. Indonesia’s economic growth has been slowing since 2011 when it still posted a 6.5 percentage point growth rate (y/y). However, growth is expected to rebound from here.

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  • Macroeconomy Indonesia: Inflation, Trade Balance and Manufacturing

    Macroeconomy Indonesia: Inflation, Trade Balance and Manufacturing

    Indonesia’s inflation eased significantly in January 2015 to 6.96 percent year-on-year (y/y) from 8.36 percent (y/y) in December 2014 as the government’s January fuel price cut translated into lower transportation costs across Southeast Asia’s largest economy. In January, the Joko Widodo administration cut fuel subsidy spending and moved a step closer to a full market-based price mechanism for low-octane gasoline and diesel. As a result - amid low global oil prices - prices of diesel and gasoline fell by an average of 14 percent.

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  • Indonesian Authorities Revise Economic Assumptions in 2015 Budget

    Indonesian Authorities Agree on Revised Economic Assumptions in 2015 Budget

    The Indonesian government, central bank (Bank Indonesia) and Commission XI of the House of Representatives (DPR) agreed to revise several macroeconomic targets in the Revised 2015 State Budget (APBN-P 2015). The revisions include the country’s economic growth (GDP) pace, the average rupiah exchange rate, and inflation target. In essence, the revisions indicate that Indonesian authorities have become less optimistic about the Indonesian economy in 2015 amid external pressures.

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  • Key Interest Rate: Bank Indonesia Maintains BI Rate at 7.75%

    Key Interest Rate: Bank Indonesia Maintains BI Rate at 7.75%

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) decided to keep its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.75 percent at its Board of Governors’ Meeting on Thursday (15/01). The country’s Lending Facility and Deposit Facility were maintained at 8.00 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively. According to the bank this interest rate environment is sufficient to push inflation, which has accelerated to 8.36 percent year-on-year (y/y) in December due to fuel subsidy reforms, back towards its target of 3 to 5 percent (y/y) in 2015.

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  • World Bank Alerts Indonesia on Tighter External Financing in 2015

    World Bank Alerts Indonesia on Tighter External Financing in 2015

    Despite slowing economic growth in China (the world’s second-largest economy), the World Bank forecasts higher economic growth for emerging markets in 2015 driven by a decline in global oil prices, a stronger US economy, and continued low global interest rates. The World Bank expects to see a 4.8 percent year-on-year (y/y) GDP growth rate in emerging markets this year, up from an estimated 4.4 percent (y/y) in 2014. Meanwhile, the global economy is expected to grow 3 percent (y/y) in 2015.

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  • Deutsche Bank Gives Positive Assessment of Indonesian Bonds

    Deutsche Bank Gives Positive Assessment of Indonesian Bonds

    Despite pressures on the rupiah exchange rate amid a bullish US dollar ahead of monetary tightening in the USA, the Deutsche Bank, one of the world's leading financial service providers, holds a positive view on Indonesian bonds due to Indonesia’s recent fuel subsidy reforms and solid macroeconomic fundamentals. According to the German lender, Indonesian bond yields seem to have decoupled from the currency’s recent depreciating trend although “continued foreign exchange stress could eventually lead to capitulation from bond investors.

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  • Bank Indonesia’s BI Rate Unchanged after December Board Meeting

    Indonesia’s central bank decided to keep its benchmark interest rate (BI rate) at 7.75 percent at Thursday’s Board of Governors’ Meeting (11/12). The Lending Facility and Deposit Facility were kept at 8.00 percent and 5.75 percent, respectively. The central bank is convinced that the current interest rate levels are effective to combat short-term inflationary pressures (triggered by the implementation of higher subsidized fuel prices in mid-November) pushing it back to the target corridor of between 3 and 4 percent (y/y) in 2015.

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  • World Bank Report: GDP Growth Indonesia Revised to 5.2% in 2015

    On Monday (08/12) the World Bank released the December edition of its Indonesia Economic Quarterly, entitled ‘Delivering Chance’. In the report the World Bank cut its forecast for economic growth in Indonesia next year to 5.2 percent (y/y), from 5.6 percent (y/y) in the July edition of its flagship publication, due to weaker investment growth and sluggish exports. Indonesia’s GDP growth in 2014 is projected at 5.1 percent (y/y), slightly below the World Bank’s previous estimate of 5.2 percent.

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Latest Columns Macroeconomy

  • Indonesia Investment Summit 2015: Structural Reforms Needed

    At the Indonesia Investment Summit 2015, organized in Jakarta on 15-16 January 2015, Bank Indonesia official Arief Mahmud presented several views of the central bank on the current Indonesian economy and the global and domestic challenges that it faces. As is widely known, Indonesia has been experiencing a process of slowing economic growth since 2011 due to sluggish global economic growth in combination with the rebalancing of the domestic economy. However, growth is expected to accelerate in 2015.

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  • ADB Praises Indonesia’s Reform Efforts but GDP Growth Limited in 2015

    Takehiko Nakao, President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), estimates that the Indonesian economy will grow 5.6 percent year-on-year (y/y) in 2015, lower than the target that has been set by the Indonesian government in the 2015 State Budget (5.8 percent y/y). Nakao is slightly less optimistic as he expects a slowdown in government spending this year. On a positive note, Nakao’s forecast implies a sharp improvement in Indonesia’s economic growth in 2015 from an estimated 5.1 percentage point (y/y) GDP growth in 2014.

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  • Moody's Investors Service on Strength & Risks of the Indonesian Economy

    Moody's Investors Service on the Indonesian Economy

    Moody's Investors Service, a global bond credit rating agency, assigned a definitive rating of Baa3 (stable outlook) to Indonesian government notes maturing in 2025 and 2045 (these notes are issued under the government’s global medium-term note program). Moody’s said in a press release on Tuesday (13/01) that the Baa3 government bond rating is supported by the country’s narrow fiscal deficits, low public indebtedness, healthy economic growth prospects, and the large size of Indonesia’s economy.

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  • Bank Indonesia Concerned about Level of Privately-Held Foreign Debt

    The central bank of Indonesia recently issued new regulations (Bank Indonesia Regulation No. 16/21/PBI/2014 and External Circular No. 16/24/DKEM) that aim to safeguard Indonesia’s financial fundamentals. These new regulations, which are an improvement of Bank Indonesia Regulation No. 16/20/PBI/2014 dated Oct. 28 2014, force Indonesian non-bank corporations to apply prudent fiscal management regarding foreign-denominated debt. Bank Indonesia felt these rules are needed as privately-held foreign debt rises continuously.

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  • Update Indonesian Economy: Inflation, Trade Balance & Manufacturing

    Indonesia’s inflation reached 2.46 percent month-to-month (m/m) in December 2014 due to the impact of higher subsidized fuel prices implemented on 18 November 2014. On a year-on-year (y/y) basis, Indonesia’s inflation was recorded at 8.36 percent, slightly lower than the result in 2013 (8.38 percent). Inflation has been high in 2013 and 2014 as the Indonesian government raised prices of subsidized fuels in both years in an attempt to relieve fiscal pressures brought about by costly oil imports.

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  • Prudent Fiscal Management; IMF Positive about Indonesian Economy

    Prudent Fiscal Management; IMF Positive about Indonesian Economy

    A team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by David Cowen (advisor at the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department), visited several Indonesian cities in the first three weeks of December 2014 to conduct research on the economic fundamentals of Southeast Asia’s largest economy. This research included the study of recent macroeconomic developments as well as the formulation of prognosis scenarios for the short and middle term. The IMF team held discussions with the government, Bank Indonesia, private entrepreneurs and scholars.

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  • Foreign Debt of Indonesia Grew 10.7% y/y in October 2014

    External debt of Indonesia grew at a pace of 10.7 percent year-on-year (y/y) in October 2014, slightly slower than the 11.2 percentage point (y/y) growth pace in the previous month, according to a statement of Indonesia’s central bank (Bank Indonesia). Total outstanding external debt of Indonesia reached USD $294.5 billion in October (from USD $292.3 billion in the previous month). While growth of public sector external debt slowed in October, private sector external debt accelerated.

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  • Indonesia Needs +7% GDP Growth to Become High Income Country by 2030

    In order to avoid the middle-income trap and join the ranks of the high income countries by 2030 (reaching a per capita income level of at least USD $12,500), Indonesia needs to raise economic growth beyond the 7 percent year-on-year (y/y) level. If the current gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate is maintained (between 5 and 6 percent y/y) then it will take another decade to break from the middle income trap and become a high income country. However, GDP growth in 2014 is projected at a bleak 5.2 percent (y/y).

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  • Fitch Ratings Keeps Indonesia’s Sovereign Rating at BBB-/Stable

    International credit rating agency Fitch Ratings maintained Indonesia’s sovereign rating at BBB-/stable outlook (investment grade). Baradita Katoppo, President Director of Indonesia’s Fitch Ratings branch, said that the firm is positive about the country’s financial fundamentals and prudent fiscal policy as the central bank has showed to prefer stability over growth, resulting in slowing credit growth and rising foreign exchange reserves in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Economic growth is expected to fall to 5.1 percent (y/y) in 2014.

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  • Bank Indonesia Forces Companies to Hedge Foreign Debt

    Bank Indonesia Forces Companies to Hedge Foreign Debt

    Non-bank corporations in Indonesia that hold external (foreign-denominated) debt will be forced to hedge their foreign exchange holdings against the Indonesian rupiah with a ratio of 20 percent in the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015 in an effort to limit risks stemming from increased private sector external debt. At end-August 2014, privately-held foreign debt stood at USD $156.2 billion (53.8 percent of the country’s total external debt), increasing three-fold from end-2005 and thus jeopardizing macroeconomic stability.

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