Indonesia's central bank (Bank Indonesia) expects the Indonesian economy to grow between 6.3 and 6.8 percent in 2013, supported by strong domestic consumption and foreign investment, with inflation rising by about 4.5 percent. Indonesian exports are expected to increase due to better global demand for Indonesia's commodities such as coal and palm oil, with commodity prices rising accordingly. But some problems in Indonesia's financial system remain to be solved.
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23 February 2021 (closed)
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Indonesia's current account deficit, which caused much alarm among the investor community, is expected to ease to about 2.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in the second half of 2013. This assumption is supported by Indonesia's central bank and various analysts. The country's current account deficit reached USD $9.8 billion or 4.4 percent of GDP in Q2-2013. In combination with the weakening rupiah, higher inflation and the possible end to the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program, investors have been pulling money out of Indonesia.
The government of Indonesia is busy preparing seven tax incentives to boost investment flows in 2014. Investments currently account for approximately 32 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). Only domestic consumption owns a larger stake towards the economy with 55 percent. The regulatory framework related to the seven incentives is expected to be finalized by the end of this year. The incentives consist of five new ones and the relaxation of two older incentives, namely the tax holiday and tax allowance.
The Indonesian rupiah (IDR) is experiencing one of its worst losing streaks in a decade. On Friday (19/07), the currency weakened to IDR 10,070 against the US dollar, which implies a devaluation of 4.14% in 2013 so far. The central bank of Indonesia, Bank Indonesia, does all it can to support the currency: the country's lender of last resort supplies dollars to the market triggering the reduction of foreign reserves from USD $105 million at end-May to $98 million at end-June, and raised its benchmark interest rate (BI Rate) by 50 bps to 6.50%.
After several years of significant foreign capital inflows into Indonesia, a sharp contrast has been visible in recent weeks. Global panic that followed in the days after Ben Bernanke announced that the Federal Reserve intends to withdraw its quantitative easing program in 2014 (if economic recovery of the USA continues), hit Indonesia hard. It triggered a massive capital outflow from the country's stock exchange (IDX) as well as from government securities (Surat Berharga Negara, or SBN).
The heavily subsidized fuel price of Indonesia is likely to be raised next month according to Indonesian media sources. Various high officials, including Economic minister Hatta Rajasa, discussed the possibility to raise the fuel price from IDR 4,500 (USD $0.46) to IDR 6,500 (USD $0.67) per liter starting from May. This increase will only apply to private passenger cars, and not to motorcycles and public transportation. However, president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has not made up his mind yet.
The Indonesian government - through its Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry - has stated to provide fiscal incentives to encourage oil and gas exploration in Indonesia. Indonesia, a former OPEC member, has recorded a declining oil production since the 1990s due to a lack of exploration and investments in this sector. To reverse this situation, the government will provide a number of tax exemptions.
This year, Indonesia will have to face declining production numbers in its oil and gas sector. Gas output is assumed to decline by 14.77 percent compared to last year, while oil output will reach similar levels as in 2012, provided that there are no disruptions due to bad weather and leakages (a prerequisite that will be hard to meet).