Indonesia: Trade balance returns to deficit in September
November 1, 2013
Exports fell for the 18th consecutive month in September and contracted 6.8% over the same month last year, which followed the 6.9% decline observed in August. Non-oil and gas exports, which account for the majority of Indonesian shipments, contracted 6.4% in September (August: -8.0% year-on-year). Oil and gas exports dropped 9.2% (August: -2.2% yoy).
At the same time, imports rebounded to 0.8% growth in September, which contrasted the 5.8% decrease recorded in August.
The trade balance plunged to a USD 657 million deficit in September, which contrasted the USD 72 million surplus registered in August. The result surprised the market, which had expected the trade balance to stay positive and rise to a USD 96 million surplus. Moreover, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance reached a record shortfall of USD 8.9 billion, exceeding the USD 7.7 billion deficit observed in August.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to expand 2.7% and the trade deficit to reach USD 1.0 billion in 2013. For 2014, the panel expects exports to grow 9.1% and the trade balance to rebound a to USD 1.8 billion surplus.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist