Rising Prices Hit Consumer Confidence

14 04 2008

Consumer Confidence weakened in March. The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) retreated 4.5% to 76.7, after recording a slight increase in February. Both components of the CCI declined: the Present Situations Index (PSI) fell by a hefty 8.3% to 55.2 while the Expectations Index (EI) declined by 2.7% to 92.9. A number of concerns have weighed on consumers in recent weeks, including rising prices of basic foodstuffs, higher prices of goods, weakness in the job market and natural disasters such as flood.

Nonetheless, consumer confidence improved in two of the six regions surveyed in March. The CCI in Jakarta rose slightly by 0.7% to 82.4 and the CCI in Central Java added 5.9% to 81.2. Of the regions where confidence deteriorated, the biggest decline in the CCI was seen in East Java (where the CCI slipped 12.1% to its lowest ever level of 65.1). Consumers in this province cited an increase in basic foodstuff prices and a lack of jobs as their major concerns.

At the same time, confidence weakened in both rural and urban areas (the CCI for the former group fell by 2.6% to 77.9, while the CCI for the latter group dipped 5.3% to 76.3). As such, it seems that urban consumers are suffering more than rural consumers from the increases in basic foodstuff prices. Read the rest of this entry »

March 2008 Inflation Outlook: Lower, but to stay above 7 percent

12 03 2008

In February 2008, the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.65% MoM (month-on-month), after increasing by 1.77% MoM in January 2008. As such, the YoY (year-on-year) inflation rate increased slightly from 7.36% in January to 7.40% in February.

Prices rose in nearly all components of the CPI, except for the housing component that fell 0.01% in February. The component that registered the biggest increase was still the foodstuffs component (up 1.59% MoM), followed by the medical care component (up 1.56% MoM), the processed foods component (up by 0.88% MoM), the clothing component (up 2.31% MoM), the education component (up 0.04% MoM), and the transportation component (up 0.02% MoM).

The February inflation figure was lower than most economists had expected (we had expected the February inflation figure to reach 0.76% MoM). It appears that the upward pressures on rice prices have subdued somewhat with the commencement of the rice harvesting period in February. At the same time, the government has also taken some concrete steps to supply cooking oil to the market by intensifying market operations. As such, the increases in cooking oil prices were not as much as expected before. In addition, the government’s program to encourage people to use gas rather than kerosene for household usage has also helped to reduce the problem of kerosene scarcity in some regions.

Looking ahead, we expect the harvesting of rice to put downward pressures on rice prices in March. And we also expect the government to continue its market operations. This should help ease upward pressures on basic foodstuff prices. Furthermore, the lifting of import fees on some basic foodstuffs in the near term will also help to lessen the upward pressures on basic foodstuff prices in the near future. In addition, the currently strong rupiah will also help to reduce the prices of imported goods. As such, we expect monthly inflation to be lower in March than in February.

Against this backdrop, we predict that inflation will reach 0.09% MoM in March 2008, with the YoY inflation rate falling slightly to 7.24%. For the whole of 2008, we expect inflation to reach 6.12%. Download Report

Confidence Rebounds as Worries of Rising Food Prices Ease

12 03 2008
CCI March08

As fears of rising food prices subsided, consumer confidence rebounded in February. Optimism toward the economy’s future outlook increased as the economy turned out to be not as bad as initially perceived. Against this backdrop, the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) recovered in February, up 2.5% to 80.4 from a two-year low of 78.4 in January.

Last month, consumers were burdened by rising food prices and kerosene fuel shortages. Job opportunities were also scarce. However, present conditions did improve somewhat, since the kerosene shortages were not so acute, while prices of rice eased even though the prices of some imported basic foodstuffs remained high. Against this backdrop, the Present Situations Index (PSI) edged up 0.2% to 60.2 in February. Yet despite the slight increase, the very low level of the PSI shows that consumers still have strong concerns over the state of the economy.

The relatively lower inflation in February raises consumer hopes of better living standards over the next six months. Looking ahead, the majority of consumers expect busier economic activities in the months ahead. Against this backdrop, the Expectations Index (EI) climbed from 92.1 to 95.5 in February.

As consumers are more upbeat on the nation’s outlook, consumer appetite for the purchase of big-ticket items increased in February. The proportion of consumers who plan to buy durable goods rose to 26.6% from 25.1% in January. Notably, buying intentions for goods often purchased on credit – such as houses, land, motorcycles and home appliances – all rose thanks to the declining loan rates. Also encouraging consumers to spend are the huge discounts on luxury goods (including audiovisual products).

The Consumer Confidence toward the Government Index (CCGI) fell 4.8% to a five-year low of 93.3 in February. Notably, consumers remain unconvinced in the government’s ability to spur growth (the index fell 7.2% to its lowest ever level of 86.6). In fact, consumers remain doubtful that the economy can grow quickly enough to generate new job opportunities in the months ahead. Download Report

February 2008 Inflation Outlook: To stay above 7 percent

14 02 2008

In January 2008, the consumer price index (CPI) rose 1.77% MoM (month-on-month), after increasing by 1.10% MoM in December 2007. As such, the YoY (year-on-year) inflation rate increased from 6.59% in December to 7.36% in January.

Prices rose in all components of the CPI. The biggest increase was posted by the Foodstuffs component (up 2.77% MoM), followed by the clothing component (up 2.31%), the processed foods component (up by 2.02% MoM), the housing component (up 1.80% MoM), the medical care component (up 0.72% MoM), the transportation component (up 0.24% MoM), and the education component (up 0.10% MoM). Read the rest of this entry »

Consumer Confidence Hits Lowest Level in More Than Two Years

5 02 2008

Consumer confidence sank in January to its weakest level since October 2005 as gloom over current economic conditions increased. The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) fell 5.9% to 78.4 from 83.3 in December. It appears that the recent rise in basic foodstuffs prices hit consumers’ feelings about the current environment. Besides, job scarcity and kerosene fuel shortages are also all to blame for a 9.1% plunge in the Present Situations Index (PSI), its lowest level in seven months.

At the same time, the Expectations Index (EI) also weakened in January, down 4.3% to 92.1. As has been the case for the past several months, the main drivers of consumers’ increasingly pessimistic outlook is the continued expectations on rising prices, particularly basic foodstuffs prices, declining income prospects and worsening job outlook.

The latest survey shows that consumer confidence declined for rural households much more than for urban respondents. Note that consumers in rural areas have seen their incomes dry up as they wait for the next harvesting season. For rural respondents, the CCI slumped by 9.5% to 77.4, while for urban respondents, the CCI only fell by 4.4% to 78.8 in January. Read the rest of this entry »

Fears over rising cost pressures

16 01 2008

In the October-November survey, the Business Sentiment Index (BSI) dropped by 9.4 percent to 122.6, snapping its upward streak in the last seven surveys. Both components of the BSI showed declines: the component measuring sentiment toward current situations, the Present Situations Index (PSI), dropping 8.8 percent and the component of the BSI measuring expectations over the next six months, the Expectations Index (EI), retreating 9.9 percent to 129.0.

CEOs still maintain that both business and corporate conditions are good: these two indices may have posted declines, yet they are still way above the 100 level. It is rather in regard to the current state of the overall economy where CEOs have the most concerns – the 15.3 percent fall in this index to just 80.5 brings it to a low not seen since the beginning of 2007. The seasonal holiday period reduced economic activity while rising energy prices – especially for oil and coal – are increasing costs for many businesses. Yet as the economy should quickly pick up following the Idul Fitri holidays, the CEO pessimism appears to be overdone. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly Currency 14 Jan 2008

15 01 2008

Nilai tukar Yen tidak banyak mengalami perubahan terhadap USD dalam perdagangan minggu kemarin. Pada hari pertama perdagangan, Yen ditutup sedikit melemah pada level 109.2 dari level 108.6 pada penutupan hari Jumat minggu sebelumnya (4 Januari 2008). Pada hari perdagangan selanjutnya, Yen berfluktuasi hingga akhirnya ditutup pada level 108.9 di hari Jumat yang lalu (11 Januari 2008). Secara keseluruhan, Yen hanya melemah sebesar 0.2% dibandingkan penutupan minggu sebelumnya.

Yen tidak banyak berubah pada perdagngan minggu lalu dikarena terdapat sentimen negatif dan sentimen positif terhadap Yen pekan kemarin. Sentimen negatif muncul setelah gubernur Bank Sentral Jepang (BOJ), Toshihiko Fukui, diperkirakan akan memberi sinyal kepada pelaku pasar bahwa BOJ akan tetap mempertahankan suku bunga pada level saat ini, yaitu sebesar 0.5%. Hal ini membuat Jepang tetap sebagai negara dengan suku bunga terendah dibandingkan dengan negara-negara industri besar lainnya. Selain itu, investor Jepang juga banyak melakukan pembelian aset berdenominasi mata uang asing dengan imbal hasil besar ( high yield ), sehingga aktifitas carry trade meningkat. Sementara itu, sentimen positif terhadap Yen muncul setelah harga-harga saham di Asia mengalami penurunan akhir minggu lalu sehingga menimbulkan kekhawatiran di antara para investor yang memegang aset dengan imbal hasil tinggi (high yield ). Karena itu mereka mulai mengurangi aktifitas carry trade tersebut. Read the rest of this entry »