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Indonesia's central bank slashes interest rate by 50 basis points JAKARTA - The Indonesian central bank on Wednesday cut its benchmark interest rate by a half percentage point to 7.75 percent to boost economic growth and reduce unemployment, the bank said in a statement. Easing inflation and the fall of overseas sales have triggered governor Boediono and his seven colleagues to reduce the rate, which is more than the expected 25 basis points.

The central bank has also reduced its economic growth forecast for this year to 4 percent from earlier prediction of between 4 to 5 percent. Inflation in February eased to 8.6 percent and export in December plunged by 35.5 percent to 7.15 billion U.S. dollars from a year earlier, the statistic agency has said.

"The central bank decision aims to spur growth, but unfortunately it is not followed by the lowering of credit interest as quick as expected by banks," said an analyst from Standard Chartered. He predicted that the rate cuts by the central bank would continue in coming months and the rate would be around 7 percent at the year end.

The number of Indonesian workers facing layoff this year, including those domestic and migrant workers, is predicted to top one million people. The government and the parliament has approved 73.3 trillion rupiah (some 6.1 billion U.S. dollars) fiscal stimulus package to finance massive infrastructure projects to reduce the raising unemployment and the real estate sector.

The recession has trimmed demand and slumped prices of Indonesia's export products, including textile coal, palm oil, rubber and fabricated goods. Indonesia is the world's biggest palm oil producer and the world's second biggest rubber maker. The country has decided to rely much on its huge domestic market with over 230 million population following the slumping of its exports.



Posted in Economy @ 05 March 2009 09:51 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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