Indonesia's central bank kept its benchmark interest rate on hold at 4.75 percent at its March 16th meeting, as widely expected. Policymakers said the decision was in line with efforts to maintain macroeconomic and financial stability amid increasing global uncertainty. The overnight deposit facility rate and the lending facility rate were also left on hold at 4.0 percent and 5.5 percent respectively.
Excerpts from Bank Indonesia Press Release:
The decision is consistent with Bank Indonesia’s efforts to maintain macroeconomic and financial system stability amidst growing global uncertainty. Bank Indonesia continues to monitor and remains vigilant of various short term risks, both global and domestic. Global risks include rising global inflation, US economic and trade policy direction and Fed Fund Rate hike effects, as well as geopolitical risks from Europe. Domestically, the impact of administered prices (AP) on inflation still needs to be monitored. Therefore, Bank Indonesia constantly optimises its monetary, macroprudential and payment system policy mix to preserve macroeconomic and financial system stability. Furthermore, Bank Indonesia will continue to strengthen coordination with the Government, focusing on controlling inflation within the target corridor as well as accelerating structural reform programs to support sustainable economic growth.
Economic growth is expected to continue improving, despite a number of risks that need to be observed. Indonesia’s economy is predicted to remain strong in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the previous quarter, driven stronger investment, robust consumption and improving export performance. Non-building investment is predicted to gain traction, reflected by an uptick in sales of heavy equipment and cement. Household consumption is expected to continue increasing as indicated by a stable retail growth and positive consumer expectations. Meanwhile, government’s contribution towards consumption and investment tend to improve. Externally, export performance is predicted to improve as commodity prices increase. Consequently, the Indonesian economy is projected to grow in the 5.0-5.4% (yoy) range in 2017.
The rupiah continued to appreciate in February 2017 in line with maintained macroeconomic stability and despite a backdrop of growing global uncertainty. Moving forward, Bank Indonesia will remain vigilant of emerging risks, including the US economic policy and the impact of FFR hikes as well as political uncertainty in several European countries. Therefore, Bank Indonesia will continue to implement the stabilisation measures necessary to ensure the rupiah remains consistent with the currency’s fundamental value, while maintaining market mechanisms.
Looking forward, Bank Indonesia will strengthen policy coordination with the Government to control inflation in response to several risks, including further adjustments to administered prices (AP) as the Government continues to reform energy subsidies as well as inflationary pressures on volatile foods. With that strategy, inflation is projected to remain within the target corridor of 4±1%.
3/16/2017 2:45:35 PM