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Today's Headlines Trade Balance

  • Trade Balance Indonesia: Second Consecutive Monthly Surplus in March

    It was a welcome surprise to see Indonesia recording a trade surplus of USD $540.2 million in March 2019, extending the monthly trade surplus to two (straight) months, which is something we had not seen in more than a year. However, when we take a look at the first quarter of 2019, then Indonesia’s overall trade balance still shows a deficit of USD $193.4 million.

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  • Current Account Remains Indonesia's Achilles' Heel; Trade Balance Concerns Persist

    Indonesia’s current account deficit widened to USD $31.1 billion, equivalent to 2.98 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), in full-year 2018. It is a big deterioration compared to the USD $17.29 billion deficit (1.7 percent of GDP) in the preceding year. It means the current account balance remains the Achilles’ heel of the Indonesian economy, one that – potentially - triggers rapid and large capital outflows in times of global economic turmoil.

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  • Plans to Raise Import Tax for Certain Goods Meets Resistance

    The Indonesian government is planning to impose measures in order to curtail imports into Indonesia (in an effort to improve the trade balance, current account balance, and strengthen the rupiah exchange rate). One measure that is currently being prepared by the Finance Ministry is higher import tariffs for certain goods. Another measure that is being studied is reducing the number of entrance points for imports.

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  • Trade Balance Indonesia: Big Monthly Trade Deficit in July 2018

    Adding more pressures onto the rupiah, Indonesia's Statistics Agency (BPS) announced on Wednesday (15/08) that the country's trade balance deteriorated significantly. In July 2018 Indonesia had a USD $2.03 billion trade deficit, much bigger than had been expected by analysts (and constituting the widest monthly trade deficit in the past five years). The latest deficit was particularly attributed to rapidly rising imports into Southeast Asia's largest economy.

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  • Trade Balance Indonesia: $1.74 Billion Surplus in June 2018

    According to the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), the country's trade balance showed a USD $1.74 billion surplus in June 2018. It was a much bigger surplus than had been estimated by analysts, primarily caused by weaker import growth than had been predicted by analysts.

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  • Trade Balance Indonesia: $1.52 Billion Deficit in May 2018

    After a (revised) USD $1.63 billion trade deficit in April 2018, Indonesia posted another big trade deficit in the following month. In May 2018 Indonesia's trade deficit reached USD $1.52 billion, slightly lower from the deficit in the preceding month but still constituting a wider deficit than had been expected by analysts. Despite rising exports in May, a soaring crude oil price managed to put big pressures on Indonesia's trade balance.

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  • Trade Balance Indonesia: $1.63 Billion Deficit in April 2018

    Based on data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS), Indonesia's trade balance showed a USD $1.63 billion deficit in April 2018. The deficit, which surprised most analysts' expectations, is the nation's biggest monthly trade deficit in four years (April 2014). While exports grew 9.0 percent year-on-year (y/y) to USD $14.47 billion, imports grew much more impressive - at a pace of 34.7 percent (y/y) - to USD $16.09 billion last month.

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Latest Columns Trade Balance

  • Weak Diversification Behind Indonesia's Trade & Current Account Deficits

    The central bank of Indonesia (Bank Indonesia) said it expects to see another monthly trade deficit - approximately USD $230 million - in February 2018. If so, it would be the third straight monthly trade deficit for Southeast Asia's largest economy after a USD $220 million deficit in December 2017 and a USD $678 million deficit in January 2018 (the latter being the country's highest monthly deficit since April 2014).

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  • Trade Balance Indonesia: $678 Million Deficit in January 2018

    In line with the increase in domestic economic activity, Indonesia's trade balance recorded a USD $678 million deficit in January 2018. The deficit was particularly attributed to a shrinking surplus of the country's non-oil & gas trade balance. Although Indonesia's oil & gas deficit declined in the first month of 2018, it was not enough to offset the impact of the shrinking non-oil & gas surplus. Hence the country posted its second consecutive monthly trade deficit.

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  • Trade Balance Indonesia: Unexpected Deficit in December 2017

    In the last month of 2017 Indonesia posted a USD $270 million trade deficit according to the latest data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS). This result goes against the prediction of most analysts, who expected to see another trade surplus for Southeast Asia's largest economy. Indonesia posted a trade surplus in all months of 2017 with the exception of July and December.

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  • Trade Balance Indonesia: Widening Surplus in September 2017

    The trade surplus of Indonesia widened in September 2017 as export growth outpaced import growth. Indonesia's Statistics Agency (BPS) announced on Monday (16/10) that the nation's trade balance showed a USD $1.76 billion surplus in September, higher than analysts' forecasts and slightly higher than the USD $1.72 billion surplus in the preceding month.

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  • Expansion Alibaba to Indonesia to Cause Rising Trade Deficit with China?

    The USD $1 billion acquisition of Southeast Asia-based e-commerce platform Lazada Group SA by China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd may give rise to a larger flow of Chinese products into Indonesia. Lazada is an e-commerce platform that operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. Southeast Asia is an interesting market for Alibaba as only 3 percent of retail sales are conducted online in this region, implying huge growth opportunities. Meanwhile, Alibaba has been eager to expand abroad as growth in China has been slowing.

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  • Trade Balance Indonesia Update: $1 Billion Surplus in September 2015

    Indonesia posted a USD $1.02 billion trade surplus in September 2015, higher than analysts' estimates and up from a revised USD $328 million trade surplus recorded in the preceding month. It was the tenth consecutive monthly trade surplus for Indonesia. However, the country's September trade surplus is primarily the result of rapidly declining imports, reflecting weak investment growth and weak consumption in Southeast Asia's largest economy.

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  • Indonesia Posts Trade Surplus in April but Concerns about Economy Rise

    Indonesia posted a higher-than-expected USD $454.4 million trade surplus in April 2015. Previously, analysts predicted to see an April trade surplus of around USD $120 million. However, the USD $454.4 million trade surplus was smaller than the (revised) USD $1 billion trade surplus recorded in March. Moreover, the April surplus (the country’s fifth consecutive trade surplus) is primarily caused by a large drop in imports, signalling that Indonesia’s economic performance remains sluggish at the start of Q2-2015.

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  • Update Indonesia Rupiah: Strengthening against the USD over the Past Month

    Over the past week, the Indonesian rupiah continued to appreciate against the US dollar. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, the rupiah appreciated 0.07 percent to IDR 12,850 per US dollar on Friday (17/04). Only a month ago, investors and policymakers were alarmed when the rupiah touched IDR 13,245 per US dollar, a 17-year low. This column discusses the factors that caused the strengthening of the rupiah in recent weeks. However, amid looming further monetary tightening in the USA, this development should be short-term only.

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  • Manufacturing in Indonesia: Key to Boost Export Performance

    One of the key strategies to improve the economic fundamentals of Indonesia is to restructure and strengthen the country’s exports. This restructuring involves the transformation of Indonesian exports from being dominated by (raw) commodities to manufactured exports by developing downstream industries in Southeast Asia’s largest economy, including import substitution industrialization in order to curb the country’s demand for imported products amid Indonesians’ rising purchasing power.

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  • Update Indonesian Rupiah & Stocks: Why they Strengthened Today

    The Indonesian rupiah exchange rate appreciated and Indonesian stocks rose on Wednesday (04/02) on the back of rallying oil prices, a successful bond auction, easing tensions in Europe, and weak US factory orders. Based on the Bloomberg Dollar Index, Indonesia’s rupiah appreciated 0.21 percent to IDR 12,630 per US dollar on Wednesday (04/03). Meanwhile, the benchmark stock index of Indonesia (Jakarta Composite Index, abbreviated IHSG) climbed 0.45 percent to 5,315.28 points.

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