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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 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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