Indonesia Trade Balance September 2018


Indonesia: Export and import growth loses steam in September

October 15, 2018

According to Statistics Indonesia, the country recorded a trade surplus of USD 0.2 billion in September, down from the USD 1.8 billion surplus registered in the same month last year. However, September’s figure contrasted market expectations of a USD 0.5 billion deficit, largely due to a far sharper-than-expected slowdown in import growth.

Exports grew a mere 1.7% over the same month last year, down from August’s 4.5% growth. September’s figure was negatively impacted by a sharp fall in exports of oil and gas—despite higher oil prices—while non-oil exports expanded. Import growth slipped markedly to 14.2% in September (August: +24.5% yoy) but remained elevated, buoyed by markedly higher oil and gas imports.

Going forward, government measures to tame imports, coupled with the weaker rupiah, should provide some support to the external position, although FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists still see the trade deficit widening in 2019 and 2020. Panelists see exports and imports expanding 8.1% and 10.2% respectively in 2019, which would bring the trade balance to a USD 1.1 billion deficit. For 2020, the panel sees exports and imports growing 9.4% and 11.8% respectively, with the trade deficit widening to USD 6.0 billion.

Author:, Economist

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Indonesia Trade Balance Chart

Indonesia Trade12m September 2018 1

Note: 12-month sum of trade balance in USD billion and annual variation of the 12-month sum of exports and imports in %.
Source: Statistics Indonesia (BPS) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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