Monday, 18 January 2016


Since early this year till now Rupiah value against USD had been axed by around 13%. The same was with IHDG at BEI it had slumped to around 4.300 after reaching 5.500 only months ago.

Loosely people might say that of Rupiah and IHSG was because market expectation was not met by the Government.

“The market” in this case could be defined as business players, share holders or players of the money market. The Market could also be perceived – in the broader sense of the word – as the general public. So people expectations was how as the Government could buoy up economic growth toward healthier macro economy and peoples better welfare.

There were high expectations for great endeavors that might change economic climate but it seem that the present condition was still a far cry from ideal condition.

Apparently economic growth which once reached 6.49% in 2011 continues to drop to 4.7% in Semester 1 of 2015 while IHSG also dropped constantly being vulnerable to external sentiments.

With advancement of IT one electronic, media, now it was easy for the people to access data resources and keep abreast whit economic development and evaluate why expectations was hard to attain.

Global economic slowdown and low capital expenditure was allegedly the cause of Indonesia’s economic slowdown.

Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Textile Producers (API) Ade Sudrajdat said that many factories in Indonesia had stopped their production and reduce the number of employees.

The condition triggered public anxiety that another crisis would happen the way it happened in 1998 and 2008. More over today Rupiah was down to as low as Rp.14.200 per USD, while IHSG index dropped to 4,163.7 on August 24 last.

Under the circumstances stakeholder of economy urged the Government to promote investment to the maximum to re-energize the economic machine.

Consequently all the regulations at the central and provincial level which hindranced investment must be relaxed to smoothen Government’s budget expenditure.

It was not enough for the Government to work hard think smart instead. Anyone could “work hard” nut not just anyone could     work smart and produce result.

Indonesia’s forex reserves by August 2015 was posted at USD 1055,3 billion, less than the position by end of July 2015 at USD 107.60 billion. In fact Indonesia’s forex reserves had been stuck “at around USD 100 billion” and never increased significantly over the past 2 years since of the past Government mainly because it had been continually gnawed for making market intervention.

Bank Indonesia had their commitment to stay on guard at the money market to stabilize Rupiah hereby to support macroeconomic stability and keep Rupiah from being undervalued. One niche to pin hope on was foreign currency income from Government’s Samurai bonds which could be expected to prevent Rupiah’s further slump.

Now market players were looking forward to Government’s issuance of chapter One of Economy Policy Package to troubleshoot some macro economic problems. There was one main objective, i.e. to pull in forex flow abroad to revitalize economy.

This chapter One Integrated Economy Policy Package was one of the Government’s effort to overcome problems. Revision of Regulations on Tax Holiday was announced by President Joko Widodo, who was flanked by the Coordinating Ministers and was broadcasted on TV Wednesday evening September 9, 2015.

Almost Certainly the Policy Package would strengthen people’s resistance and purchasing power in this turbulent climate. Besides, the Rules on Tax Holiday would synergize with another Policy Package released before to promote industrial development at home such as the Mining Sector.

The Integrated Economic Policy Package was a counter-cyclical policy run by the Government in facing the world’s economic being trapped in the slowdown zone. The year 2016 was not a good year for global growth because of China’s economy being down-contracted.

Moody’s in their latest report entitled “Down revision of Economic Outlook 2016”, economic growth of member countries of G-20 next year was 2.8%, lower than the initial production of 3.1%. The economic condition of China was the reason why Moody Reserves their projections.

Moody’s saw that by next year China’s economy only grew by 6.3% against the previous prediction of 6.5%. The slower growth in China made commodity prices unable to increase in the near future. A long period of commodity prices might cause income and investment from export of G-20 countries to be lower.

Indonesia as member of G20 Countries would be affected by global economic slowdown including China; next year Indonesia’s growth rate would only be at 4% - 5 %.

The Policy of China as the world’s second largest economic power was the focus of attention of the world. One of them was the people’s Bank of China devaluated Yuan for 3 consecutive days on 11 – 13 August 2015 by 2% respectively to jack up export.

The value of Yuan being low, China’s products would be cheap and be competitive against other countries.

In the previous years, China’s economic growth had always been above 10%, but this year the growth was below 105 and even 7% at the last quarter.

One of the benefits of devaluation’s was to command over broader market base apparently base weakening of Yuan had its influence another countries. Devaluation of Yuan would make Asia Pacific states axe their respective currencies. Some of the Countries who devaluated their currency were South Korea, Australia and Singapore who posted cut of more than 1%. Indonesia was no exception.

Following Yuan’s devaluation, Rupiah slumped to Rp.14.200 per USD, the lowest level of Rupiah in the past 17 year since 1998 when Indonesia was under monetary crisis.

In fact even before China devaluated their Yuan, Rupiah was already under pressure. To calculate from early year, Rupiah had weakened by 12%.early this year Rupiah was still at Rp.12.545 per USD while in August 2015 Rupiah sank to Rp.14.035 per USD.

Since early this year, the sentiment that pressed Rupiah down was in fact not just devaluation of Yuan but also plan to increase FFR by the Fed in the USA. The process of economic recovery in the USA since the case of subprime mortgage had begin as showdown by some macro indicators like unemployment which had improved to 5.1% and economic growth coming close to 2%.

Based on the bettered economic indicators, now the Fed planned to increase FFR which at the moment was closed to 0%.

IF the plan to increase FFR no well anticipated by developing countries like Indonesia, it would increase and Rupiah would weaken.

Amidst weakening of Rupiah, the alarm signal of possible crisis in Indonesia was beginning to be voiced by many parties. Description of Rupiah was followed by increasing of basic essential commodities in some cities in Java.

Economic adverse conditions was normally followed by companies stopping their activities, because of increasing production cost from imported components and further lead to employees dismissals.

Although actual crisis was not on, the chain effect of Rupiah depreciation such as de-industrialization and reduced people’s purchasing power must be watched on. The public expected the Government to take the lead in taking measures to anticipate crisis.

Some people recommended the Government to set up a Crisis Center but the Government seemed no too enthusiastic about it. It must be borne in mind that to set up a Crisis Protocol Center was not to tackle crisis but to anticipate crisis in case it should happen. (SS)

Business New - September 11, 2015

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