Jun 20, 2022 • 15 minutes ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
BENGALURU — Bank Indonesia will leave its key interest rate steady at 3.50% on Thursday but over one-quarter of economists in a Reuters poll expect a rate rise to stem imported inflation from a weak rupiah currency as the U.S. Federal Reserve tightens aggressively.
Indonesia’s central bank is one of a few major Asian central banks that has not raised rates from a pandemic record low since inflation has held within its target range of 2%-4%.
But a 75-basis-point Fed rate rise last week and the prospect of more aggressive moves in the coming months sent the rupiah tumbling by 2%, its worst weekly performance in nearly three years.
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Still, 23 of 32 economists in the latest poll taken June 13-20, predicted the central bank will keep its benchmark seven-day reverse repurchase rate at a record low of 3.50% at its June 22-23 meeting.
“Bank Indonesia’s policy dashboard is likely to broaden from being focused on domestic growth and inflation, to include financial stability and outflow risks, paving the way for a start to the hiking cycle from July,” said Radhika Rao, senior economist at DBS Bank.
Still, a significant minority, 9 of 32, expect BI to join other Asian peers and hike rates by 25 basis points to 3.75%.
“Unless the current pressure on the IDR abates in the lead-up to BI’s meeting, the more prudent move is a rate hike, or at least clear signals that a rate lift-off is near,” said Krystal Tan, economist at ANZ, who forecasts a 25 basis point rise.