Bank Indonesia Governor Says He May Ease If Data Supports

Key Speakers At The Euromoney Indonesia Investment Forum

Agus Martowardojo.

Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg
  • Central bank may ease in its September or October meeting
  • August inflation undershot central bank’s 3% to 5% target

Indonesia’s central bank may ease monetary policy further in September or October if economic data supports a move, Governor Agus Martowardojo said.

Bank Indonesia, which left its new benchmark interest rate unchanged at 5.25 percent last month, is still in easing mode, Martowardojo told reporters in Jakarta on Friday. The bank had lowered borrowing costs four times this year. It may adjust the key seven-day reverse repurchase rate, the reserve requirement ratio or macroprudential instruments, he said.

“If later at the September or October board of governors meeting, if the data is supportive, it’s likely we will take a looser monetary policy position, subject to there being supportive data,” he said.

Inflation in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy undershot the bank’s 3 percent to 5 percent target in August, reaching 2.79 percent. At the same time, growth is under pressure and is set to be closer to the lower end of the central bank’s 4.9 percent to 5.3 percent target this year.

Bank Indonesia expects inflation to remain low, the rupiah to be stable and loan growth to be weak. Inflation is set to reach 3.02 percent in September as prices of some food products pick up, while capital inflows will continue to support the rupiah’s strength, Martowardojo said.

The central bank expects credit to expand 7 percent to 9 percent this year, far short of its previous target of 12 percent to 14 percent as recently as June, he said.

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