Battening down for 35% rupiah plunge

ASEAN+ August 24, 2018 01:00

By THE JAKARTA POST
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
JAKARTA

INDONESIA’S proposed 2019 state budget is designed to face a worst-case scenario of rupiah depreciation of up to 35 per cent – 18,000 to the US dollar - particularly related to anticipated ballooning government debt due to the weakening of the currency.



Finance Ministry budgetary director general Askolani said the shock estimation was a stress test that could be used by the government to test the debt ratio under the worst conditions.

“It means if the worst occurs, we are prepared,” said Askolani as reported by kontan.co.id yesterday.

He said if the rupiah weakened to 18,000 per US dollar, government debt would still be controllable. This year’s average rupiah exchange rate is projected at 13,973 to the US dollar.

The government believes debt to gross domestic product (GDP) will be between 29.5 and 31 per cent, with a possible increase of 5 per cent.

The government considers a debt to GDP ratio lower than 40 per cent safe, considering Malaysia debt to GDP ratio had reached 65 percent.

The government also estimates that debt instalment payments to the GDP ratio will be 1.5 to 2 per cent in the period between 2019 and 2022. Meanwhile, debt payment to debt outstanding ratio is estimated at 5.5 to 6.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, Bank Indonesia deputy governor Dody Budi Waluyo said the possibility of the rupiah depreciating by 35 percent was very small, considering that the rupiah's depreciation from January to date reached only 7 per cent.