The Jakarta Post
Renowned economist Destry Damayanti was sworn in as Bank Indonesia (BI) senior deputy governor on Wednesday, bringing with her a monetary-easing policy aimed at boosting the country’s sluggish economy.
Destry succeeds Mirza Adityaswara, a former colleague at state-owned lender Bank Mandiri where they both served as economists. She will be the second in command at the central bank after BI Governor Perry Warjiyo, a career BI bureaucrat, for the next five years.
Central banks across the region have eased rates in response to a global economic slowdown primarily triggered by uncertainties surrounding the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. BI in its most recent policy meeting in July cut its benchmark seven-day reverse repo rate by 25 basis points to 5.75 percent.
“We believe the easing policy [will continue] for quite a long time since we need stimulus [to fuel] the growth of the economy going forward,” Destry briefed the press after her inauguration ceremony at the Supreme Court in Jakarta.
She added that relatively benign consumer prices supported the easing move. Inflation stood at 3.32 percent year-on-year (yoy) in July, still within the central bank’s 2.5 to 4.5 percent year-end target range.
Meanwhile, economic growth slowed to 5.05 percent in the second quarter of this year yoy, from 5.27 percent booked in the same period last year.
Destry said she aimed to maintain the central bank’s “accommodative” policies, highlighting the need to keep domestic banks well-supplied with liquidity to boost loan growth.
“We will support domestic liquidity to make space for [the real] sector to grow and for banks to channel more loans, particularly productive loans,” she said.
Destry is known to be highly experienced in the country’s financial sector. Before taking up her position as BI’s senior deputy governor Destry was appointed by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as an Insurance Deposit Corporation (LPS) commissioner, a position she held between September 2015 and August 2019.
Destry, who holds an economics degree from the University of Indonesia as well as a science masters from Cornell University in the US, was chief economist at Mandiri between 2011 and 2015.
She also served as chairwoman of the selection committee for Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) leaders.