News / Economy

Indonesia Under Pressure to Prevent Plummeting Rupiah

An employee shows stacks of rupiah banknotes at a money changer in Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 23, 2013.
An employee shows stacks of rupiah banknotes at a money changer in Jakarta, Indonesia, Aug. 23, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Kate Lamb
— Indonesia’s government has announced new policies to mitigate the rapidly depreciating rupiah, which has faced its worst week since 2008. Analysts say the measures are unlikely to be effective in the short term, because of broader trends affecting currencies across Asia.

A darling of investors at a time when advanced economies were flailing, Indonesia’s economic boom is being rapidly undermined by its plummeting rupiah.

Following reports of a record high current account deficit, the country has faced sell-offs in the rupiah, stocks and bonds. This week more than $500 million in global funds have been pulled from the local stock exchange.

Already among Asia’s worst performing currencies this year, the rupiah has now suffered its worst week in four years, sliding 4.2 percent. On Friday the government announced plans designed to boost investment and reduce imports.

The measures include increasing import taxes on luxury cars, reducing oil imports and providing tax incentives for investments in agriculture and the metal industries.

HSBC senior economist Fauzi Ichsan said the plan would not prevent the rupiah from depreciating further in the short term.

“Certainly the policy package will help boost exports, boost foreign direct investment but that’s for the long run. The impact of the policy once it is in implemented will only be felt in three to six months, earliest, so it does not really address the immediate problem of the lack of dollar liquidity in the foreign exchange market,” said Ichsan.

The Indonesian government has also revised its GDP growth estimate from 6.3 to 5.9 percent this year.

Ichsan said the rupiah was likely to remain ‘fragile’ and would not rebound until after the general election in the second half of 2014.

Speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin winding down its stimulus program, along with slowdowns in China and India have also hit Indonesia, which relies heavily on commodity exports.

Currencies across South and Southeast Asia have fallen hard this week, with Indonesia and India suffering the steepest losses. The currencies of Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines also fell, but by less than one percent.

But analyst Andrew Colquhoun, from Fitch Rating in Hong Kong said concerns the region could be headed for a repeat of the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 are unwarranted.

“We think Indonesia is in a rather stronger position today from a sovereign credit perspective certainly than it was in 1996 or 1997 and that is true across a range of areas. But one factor is the self insurance that Indonesia and a number of other Asian sovereigns have built up in the form of foreign currency reserves,” he said.

Colquhoun also suggested there was a ‘global reorientation’ of economic growth drivers away from investment and construction within China and toward growing demand in the advanced economies. He said that was also contributing to currency declines in the region.

Fitch Ratings said policy management would be an important factor in whether economic and financial stability was maintained in India and Indonesia.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7225
JPY
USD
102.27
GBP
USD
0.5953
CAD
USD
1.0982
INR
USD
60.349

Rates may not be current.