Indonesia Leaves Monetary Policy Unchanged

The central bank of Indonesia left its key interest rate on hold at 4.75 percent on January 19th 2017 as widely expected, aiming to protect against global financial risks including capital outflows and inflationary pressures from higher food and utility prices. Policymakers also kept its lending facility rate unchanged at 5.5 percent and its overnight deposit facility rate at 4.0 percent.
Bank Indonesia | Joana Taborda | 1/19/2017 10:14:51 AM
Excerpts from Bank Indonesia Press Release: 

The decision was consistent with Bank Indonesia’s effort to maintain macroeconomic and financial system stability, while keep optimizing domestic economic recovery amid uncertainties in the global financial market. After performing relatively well throughout 2016, improvement in the national economic outlook is expected to continue, with stronger growth combined with maintained macroeconomic and financial system stability. Bank Indonesia will continue to monitor risks in 2017. Globally, the risks include the policy directions taken in the US and China and global oil price hike, while the domestic risks are linked to the impact of administered prices (AP) on inflation. Consequently, Bank Indonesia will continue to optimise its monetary, macroprudential and payment system policy mix in order to maintain macroeconomic and financial system stability, while considering the impact on the optimilization of economic recovery. Furthermore, Bank Indonesia will strengthen policy coordination with the Government, focusing on inflation control to keep within the target range, as well as structural reforms to support sustainable economic growth.

Bank Indonesia predicts the global economy to improve, supported by gains in the US and China, albeit several risks that need to be observed. Looking forward, several global risks shall continue to demand vigilance, including the impact of US fiscal and international trade policy, Federal Funds Rate (FFR) hikes that could raise the cost of borrowing, economic and financial rebalancing in China, as well as geopolitical risks.

In 2017, however, the economic recovery should continue, driven by exports and investment as financing increases from bank loans and nonbank financing. On the other hand, stable household consumption is also predicted.

After pressures following the result of the US election, the rupiah appreciated in December as capital flowed back onto domestic financial markets. Point-to-point, the rupiah appreciated 0.59% (mtm) to close at a level of Rp13,473 per USD in line with a deluge of capital inflow, primarily to government debt securities (SUN). In contrast, outflow from the domestic stock market decreased after the FFR hike, with a reversal noted at the end of December 2016 to record an inflow. Point-to-point, in 2016, the rupiah appreciated 2.32% (ytd) on the positive investor perception of the domestic economic outlook, which attracted non-resident capital. Bank Indonesia will remain vigilant of risks from the global financial uncertainty, however, while continuing to stabilise the rupiah in line with the currency’s fundamental value and maintaining market mechanisms.

Bank Indonesia maintained low inflation throughout 2016, towards the floor of the inflation target, namely 4±1%. CPI inflation in December 2016 was recorded at 0.42% (mtm), down from 0.47% (mtm) the month earlier. Therefore, inflation of 3.02% (yoy) was recorded for the year. Low inflation was supported by low core inflation and minimal administered prices, while inflationary pressures on volatile foods remained. Such achievements were supported by Bank Indonesia policy and increasingly solid coordination with the central and local governments to control inflation. Moving forward, efforts to control inflation will confront risks that demand vigilance, primarily in the form of administered prices adjustments along with government’s structural reform policies in energy subsidies, as well as risks of volatile food inflation. To that end, policy coordination between Bank Indonesia and the Government will constantly be strengthened.

Indonesia Leaves Monetary Policy Unchanged