Indonesia Economic Growth Exceeds Estimates as Investments Surge
By Novrida Manurung and Hidayat Setiaji – Aug 6, 2012
Indonesia’s economy expanded more than analysts estimated as rising investments helped the nation withstand declining exports and Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis.
Gross domestic product rose 6.4 percent in the three months ended June 30 from a year earlier, the Central Bureau of Statistics said in Jakarta today. That compares with a 6.31 percent gain reported previously for the first quarter and the 6.1 percent median estimate of 24 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
Growth above 6 percent may ease pressure on the central bank to immediately join neighbors in adding monetary stimulus. Bank Indonesia has avoided supplementing a February interest- rate cut and is forecast by economists in a Bloomberg survey to maintain borrowing costs at a record low this week.
“We expect growth will pick up steadily toward the end of the year as regional trading partner growth perks up,” Fred Gibson, an associate economist at Moody’s Analytics in Sydney, said before the report. “We expect no further rate cuts this year.”
The rupiah was little changed at 9,459 per dollar as of 11:14 a.m. Jakarta time, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg. It has dropped for six months, its longest losing streak since 1998, and is the worst performer this year among the 11 most traded Asian currencies tracked by Bloomberg.
Bank Indonesia Governor Darmin Nasution and his board will keep the benchmark reference rate at 5.75 percent on Aug. 9, all but one of 26 economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast. One predicted a quarter of a percentage point reduction.
Policy makers from China to South Korea and the Philippines lowered rates last month, a move Nasution may avoid amid the risk of price pressures as the world’s largest Muslim population observes the fasting period of Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr festival that marks its end.
Consumer prices rose 4.56 percent last month from a year earlier, after climbing 4.53 percent in June, the statistics bureau said Aug. 1. Bank Indonesia forecasts inflation of 3.5 percent to 5.5 percent in 2012 and 2013.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has pledged to build more roads, ports and airport to achieve average growth of 6.6 percent by the end of 2014. In July, the central bank lowered its GDP forecast to about 6.1 percent to 6.5 percent this year, from a previous estimate of as much as 6.7 percent growth. The expansion may about 6.3 percent to 6.7 percent in 2013, it said.
While investment in Southeast Asia’s largest economy is increasing and has bolstered imports, easing exports led to a June trade deficit of $1.32 billion that data showed is the widest in at least five years. Exports fell 16.4 percent in June from a year earlier, while imports rose 10.7 percent.
Investment climbed 24 percent to 76.9 trillion rupiah ($8.1 billion) in the three months ended June 30 from a year earlier, M. Chatib Basri, chairman of the Investment Coordinating Board, said July 25. The country is targeting foreign and local investment of about 500 trillion rupiah in 2014, from as much as 290 trillion rupiah in 2012, he said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Low interest rates have spurred loan growth and helped commercial banks to post higher net profits. PT Bank Central Asia, Indonesia’s biggest financial services company by market value, reported a 10.5 percent gain in first-half net income to 5.3 trillion rupiah as lending increased 42 percent.
“Domestic demand should stay resilient,” said Eugene Leow, a Singapore-based economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd. “Credit growth has been well-supported. Other high frequency indicators such as car sales have also remained robust, supported by rising wealth and wage growth. In terms of investment, there have been no signs of slowing thus far.”
Produk Domestik Bruto (PDB) Indonesia dinilai akan sulit bergantung
pada ekspor di tahun 2013.
“Kalau kita realistis itu (pertumbuhan ekonomi di atas 6,8%) akan sulit, apalagi dengan kondisi
perekonomian global yang tak kunjung membaik, maka ekspor pun sulit diandalkan,
” kata Deputi Bidang Neraca dan Analisis Statistik BPS, Suhariyanto di Jakarta, Senin (6/8/2012).
Nilai ekspor Indonesia pada bulan Juni 2012 saha mencapai US$15,36 miliar atau mengalami
penurunan sebesar 8,70 persen dibanding ekspor Mei 2012 yang mencapai US$16,72 miliar.
Demikian juga bila dibanding Juni 2011 mengalami penurunan sebesar 16,44 persen. (inilah/dk)