Indonesia: Fourth consecutive monthly trade deficit recorded in January as exports decline
February 15, 2019
According to Statistics Indonesia, the country recorded a trade deficit of USD 1.2 billion in January, once more coming in wider than market expectations. January’s shortfall was larger than December’s revised USD 1.0 billion deficit (previously reported: USD 1.1 billion) and the USD 0.8 billion deficit recorded in the same month last year.
Exports contracted 4.7% year-on-year in January, the third consecutive monthly decline. This came on the back of falling exports in both the hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon sectors. Meanwhile, imports dropped 1.8% year-on-year, the first such decline in 19 months, driven by lower energy imports.
Looking ahead, our panelists expect solid export growth in 2019 as a whole, although global trade tensions and a likely slowdown in China could weigh on the performance. In contrast, import growth is set to ebb in 2019, on government measures to cool imports and a tough base effect following the surge in imports in 2018. As a result, the trade deficit is seen narrowing this year.
Indonesia Trade Balance Forecast
Last month, panelists saw exports and imports expanding 7.4% and 3.4% respectively in 2019, which would bring the trade balance to a USD 1.7 billion deficit. For 2020, the panel saw exports and imports growing 7.6% and 7.4% respectively, with a trade deficit of USD 1.4 billion. A new Consensus Forecast will be released on 19 February.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist