Indonesia: Trade balance swings to surplus in February
April 1, 2014
Exports contracted 3.0% over the same month last year in February. The result followed the 5.9% decline observed in January. Non-oil and gas exports, which account for the majority of Indonesian shipments, decreased 4.3% in February (January: -5.9% year-on-year). The fall in exports was driven in part by the government ban on mineral and ore shipments, although the effect was less pronounced than last month. Oil and gas exports increased 3.6% (January: -5.7% yoy). Meanwhile, imports contracted 10.0% in February, which followed the 3.5% decrease recorded in January.
Due to the substantial drop in imports, the trade balance swung from a USD 444 million deficit in January to a USD 785 million surplus in February. The result contrasted the USD 298 million deficit recorded in the same month last year. Moreover, the print exceeded market expectations of a USD 300 million surplus. Meanwhile, the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance posted a shortfall of USD 3.4 billion, which was smaller than the USD 4.4 billion deficit observed in January.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect exports to expand 4.5% and the trade balance to reach a USD 3.4 billion surplus in 2014. For 2015, the panel expects exports to grow 8.8% and the trade surplus to reach USD 5.9 billion.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist