Indonesia Cuts Rates for 1st Time in Almost 2 Years

Bank Indonesia lowered its 7-day reverse repo rate by 25bps to 5.75 percent during its July meeting, the first interest rate cut since September 2017, in an attempt to support growth amid low inflation expectations. The overnight deposit and lending facilities were also trimmed by the same amount to 5.00 percent and 6.50 percent, respectively.
Bank Indonesia | Joana Ferreira | 7/18/2019 10:22:15 AM
Excerpts from the Bank Indonesia press release:

Bank Indonesia is maintaining an accommodative macroprudential policy stance to encourage bank lending and expand economic financing. In addition, Bank Indonesia constantly strengthens payment system policy and financial market deepening to support economic growth. Moving forward, Bank Indonesia perceives adequate space for accommodative monetary policy in line with low inflation expectations and the need to further stimulate economic growth.

Ongoing trade tensions continue to pressure world trade volume and undermine global economic growth. Flatter growth is predicted in the United States as exports decline due to simmering trade tensions, the fading effect of fiscal stimuli and restrained economic confidence. Growth has also slowed in Europe as a result of sluggish exports coupled with the ongoing structural issue of an aging population, which is undermining domestic demand. Declining exports and weaker domestic demand are also plaguing the economies of China and India. Global economic moderation, in turn, has amplified downside pressures on commodity prices, including oil. Several central banks in advanced and developing economies have responded to the inauspicious economic dynamics by relaxing monetary policy, including the US Federal Reserve, which is expected to lower the federal funds rate (FFR).

At home, Indonesia has maintained relatively stable economic growth in the second quarter of 2019 compared with conditions in the previous period. Private consumption remains solid, backed by maintained consumer confidence. Furthermore, building investment continues to expand at a stable pace. Meanwhile, exports from Indonesia are expected to contract on subdued global demand and lower commodity prices stemming from the ongoing trade dispute, although steel exports increased in June 2019. The impact of simmering trade tensions on lower exports has been felt in a number of countries. In Indonesia, the export contraction has impeded imports and undermined nonbuilding investment. Moving forward, efforts to stimulate domestic demand, including investment, are required in order to mitigate the adverse impact of global economic moderation. In general, Bank Indonesia projects national economic growth in Indonesia below the midpoint of the 5.0-5.4% range in 2019. In addition, Bank Indonesia will institute a policy mix in cooperation with the Government and other relevant authorities in order to build economic growth momentum.

Low and stable inflation was maintained in June 2019. Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation stood at 0.55% (mtm) or 3.28% (yoy) in June 2019, down slightly on the previous period at 0.68% (mtm) or 3.32% (yoy). Furthermore, core inflation was also kept under control in line with policy consistency by Bank Indonesia to anchor rational inflation expectations, including maintaining rupiah exchange rates in line with the currency's fundamental value. Administered prices (AP) recorded deflation in the reporting period as airfares were readjusted after the peak festive period. Inflationary pressures on volatile foods were controlled as the seasonal impact of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr began to fade. Bank Indonesia constantly strengthens policy coordination with the central and local governments to ensure low and stable inflation, including in anticipation of an earlier and protracted dry season forecasted this year. Bank Indonesia projects inflation in 2019 below the midpoint of the target corridor, namely 3.5%±1%.

Indonesia Cuts Rates for 1st Time in Almost 2 Years