Indonesia: Trade balance rebounds with unexpectedly large surplus in August
September 15, 2017
According to Statistics Indonesia (BPS), a trade surplus of USD 1.7 billion was recorded in August (August 2016: USD 369 million), rebounding from the one-off deficit posted in July and handily beating the USD 607 million surplus that market analysts had expected.
Exports grew 19.2% annually in August, slowing from the 41.0% expansion recorded in July. Imports also decelerated markedly, posting 8.9% growth in August following July’s buoyant 54.0% increase—which was primarily due to the timing of the Ramadam and Idul Fitri holidays this year. August’s surplus was largely due to higher coal, rubber and copper prices. Breaking down the readings, oil and gas exports rose 12.1% annually in August (July: +16.7% year-on-year) while non-oil and gas exports—which constitute the lion’s share of overseas shipments—rose 19.9% (July: +43.9% yoy). Oil and gas imports, meanwhile, rose by 9.1% (July: +18.0% yoy) and non-oil and gas imports rose 8.9% (July: +44.3% yoy).
The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance edged up from July’s USD 12.2 billion surplus to USD 13.5 billion in August.
Author: Christopher Thomas, Economist