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Economic Maneuver

In recent weeks, significant developments have unfolded in the monetary policies of two major Asian economies: Japan and Indonesia.


These decisions reflect pivotal moments in each country's economic strategy, with implications reaching far beyond their respective borders.


Japan's decision to end its negative interest rate policy after 17 years marks a momentous shift in its approach to combating deflationary pressures.


The Bank of Japan (BOJ), citing evidence of core inflation stabilizing at or above the 2% target level, suggests a potential breakthrough in Japan's protracted battle against economic stagnation. 


 

This policy shift coincides with Japan's highest spring wage negotiations in over three decades, boasting an impressive average pay increase of 5.28%.


This robust wage growth is poised to stimulate consumer demand and foster sustained economic expansion, aligning seamlessly with Japan's broader objectives of achieving enduring price stability.



Japan's recent decision to move away from zero or negative interest rates, making it the final major economy to do so, mirrors worldwide shift in monetary policy strategies amid geopolitical tensions and disruptions in global supply chains.


Even with this big change, we predict that Japanese investors will proceed cautiously, with the BOJ expected to keep financial conditions favorable for now. This careful approach will likely affect the direction of Japanese government bond yields and international investment patterns, impacting both domestic and global economic forecasts.


Meanwhile, in Indonesia, Bank Indonesia (BI) has held its BI-Rate at 6.00% in March 2024, aligning with its pro-stability monetary policy stance.

 

The decision aims to fortify the stability of the rupiah exchange rate and ensure inflation remains within the target range of 2.5% ± 1 for the year, reflecting BI's commitment to pre-emptive measures to safeguard economic stability amid evolving global and domestic economic conditions.


Indonesia Interest & Inflation Rate

Source: Trading Economics


BI's focus on promoting loan growth on the supply side is evident in its efforts to support credit/financing channeling through the banking system, as indicated by the growth in loan disbursements.


Additionally, BI's projection of a potential rate cut by the Federal Reserve in the second half of 2024 suggests a more dovish monetary stance, offering prospects for further easing of borrowing costs and stimulating loan growth.

 

Indonesia Loan Growth

 Source: Trading Economics


In parallel, BI's strategic interventions in the financial market, including strengthening liquidity management instruments like SRBI, SVBI, and SUVBI, demonstrate its commitment to bolstering financial market stability and ensuring adequate liquidity conditions.


These measures, coupled with BI's anticipation of portfolio investment inflows in response to potential Fed rate cuts, bode well for Indonesia's bond market outlook, with ample upside expected in the coming months.


We should also highlight the potential for steady growth in Indonesian equities, particularly in sectors poised to benefit from domestic consumption and infrastructure development.


As Indonesia continues to prioritize stability, investors may find opportunities for sustainable returns in the country's dynamic market landscape.


The recent monetary policy adjustments in both Japan and Indonesia reflect the responsive nature of economic policymaking to evolving global and domestic conditions. Each country faces distinct challenges and opportunities, with their policy shifts aiming to promote stability, drive growth, and ensure resilience amid uncertainty.

 

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