The latest data from BPS show that Indonesia’s exports rose 10.8 percent (month-on-month) to USD $12.7 billion in August, while on an annual basis exports plunged 12.3 percent. Meanwhile, the nation’s imports grew 21.7 percent (month-on-month) to USD $12.3 billion on increased economic activity in Indonesia after the Ramadan month but plunged 17.1 percent from the same month last year.

It is positive that Indonesia’s export performance improved in August. BPS data show a 7.7 percent increase in oil exports, a 41 percent increase in car & spare parts exports, and a 37.3 percent increase in machinery exports.

Import growth in August (on a monthly basis) emerged on the back of a 26.5 percent increase in machinery and mechanical appliances imports, a 20.4 percent increase in electrical appliances imports, a 61.5 percent increase in steel imports, and a 40.3 percent increase in plastic imports.

Cumulatively, Indonesia’s trade balance recorded a surplus of USD $6.2 billion in the first eight months of 2015. This will certainly have a positive impact on the country’s wide current account deficit. However, on a year-on-year basis Indonesia’s import-export data remain worrisome as sharply falling figures indicate reduced domestic and global economic activity.

Indonesia - Balance of Trade (in USD million):