Indonesia: Trade balance records small surplus in October
December 2, 2013
Exports rose 2.6% over the same month last year in October. The result contrasted the 7.5% contraction observed in September, and marked the first positive growth in exports after 18 consecutive months of decline. Non-oil and gas exports, which account for the majority of Indonesian shipments, expanded 2.5% in October (September: -6.4% year-on-year). Oil and gas exports increased 2.8% (September: -12.8% yoy).
At the same time, imports plunged to an 8.9% decrease in October, which contrasted the 1.1% increase recorded in September.
As a result of the growth in exports and contraction in imports, the trade balance posted a modest USD 42 million surplus in October, which contrasted the USD 803 million deficit registered in September. The result came as a surprise to the market, which had expected the trade balance only to narrow to a USD 640 million deficit. Moreover, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance posted a shortfall of USD 7.2 billion, which was up from the USD 9.1 billion deficit observed in September.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to expand 3.7% and the trade deficit to reach USD 0.1 billion in 2013. For 2014, the panel expects exports to grow 9.7% and the trade balance to rebound a to USD 2.9 billion surplus.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist