Indonesia Hikes Key Interest Rate to 5.5%

Bank Indonesia raised its 7-day reverse repurchase rate by 25 bps to 5.50 percent on August 15th, the fourth hike in less than three months, in an attempt to support the country's falling currency. The decision came after the rupiah weakened to its lowest since October 2015 on the back of Turkey's currency crisis. The deposit and lending facility rates were also increased by 25 bps to 4.75 percent and 6.25 percent respectively.

Excerpts from the Bank Indonesia Press Release:

Multispeed global economic growth has continued to stoke global economic uncertainty. The US economy continues to gain momentum on the back of accelerating consumption and investment. Meanwhile, the economies of Europe, Japan and China are moderating. Consequently, the Federal Reserve is expected to continue raising the Federal Funds Rate (FFR) gradually, contrasting the reluctance of the ECB and BoJ to hikes policy rates. In addition to the recent FFR hikes, widespread global uncertainty has been exacerbated by simmering trade tensions between the US and several other countries, which have triggered retaliatory actions around the world, including currency depreciation despite broad US appreciation. Global uncertainty has also been fuelled by the risk of spillovers from the economic shocks in Turkey caused by domestic economic fragilities and the adverse impact of negative sentiment surrounding the authorities’ policies, as well as looming tensions with the US. Bank Indonesia will remain vigilant of the external risks, including potential spillover from Turkey although sound economic fundamentals in Indonesia are indicative of solid national economic resilience, coupled with avowed policy commitment.

The national economy has accelerated significantly on strong domestic demand fuelled by private and government consumption.  GDP growth was recorded at 5.27% (yoy) in the second quarter of 2018, the fastest rate since 2013. Meanwhile, household consumption stood at 5.14% (yoy), bolstered by rising incomes, upbeat consumers and controlled inflation. In addition, consumption associated with the local elections also posted solid growth. Meanwhile, government spending has also improved, thereby catalysing strong domestic demand. On the other hand, solid investment growth has been maintained despite fewer total work days in June 2018 that restrained growth slightly. Growing domestic demand has prompted a surge of imports against comparatively subdued export performance. Looking forward, Bank Indonesia predicts solid economic growth on sound investment and consumption performance despite limited export gains. Building and nonbuilding investment remain strong, backed by infrastructure development and investment in the manufacturing industry. Meanwhile, several upcoming events, including the general election, are expected to maintain consumption. Consequently, Bank Indonesia projects economic growth in 2018 in the 5.0-5.4% (yoy) range, subsequently accelerating to 5.1-5.5% (yoy) in 2019.

Indonesia Hikes Key Interest Rate to 5.5%

Bank Indonesia | Joana Ferreira |
8/15/2018 9:54:48 AM