Indonesia: Trade balance swings to surplus in August after July's record deficit
October 1, 2013
Exports fell for the 17th consecutive month in August and contracted 6.3% over the same month last year, which followed the 6.2% decline observed in July. Non-oil and gas exports, which account for a majority of Indonesian shipments, contracted 7.8% in August (July: -2.8% year-on-year). Oil and gas exports dropped 0.3% (July: -21.8% yoy).
At the same time, imports plunged to minus 5.7% in August, which contrasted the 6.5% increase recorded in July.
The trade balance swung to a USD 132 million surplus in August, which contrasted the record USD 2.3 billion deficit registered in July. Moreover, while the market had expected an improvement in the trade balance, it only foresaw a rise to a USD 867 million deficit. Nonetheless, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance reached a record shortfall of USD 7.7 billion, exceeding the USD 7.6 billion deficit observed in July.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to expand 2.0% and the trade surplus to reach USD 0.3 billion in 2013. For 2014, the panel expects exports to grow 10.9% and the trade surplus to widen to USD 4.2 billion.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist