Indonesia posts trade surplus in May on steeper decline in imports

26, Jun. 2019

20190625_0006.jpg

JAKARTA, NNA – Indonesia posted a trade surplus in May as imports declined more sharply than exports amid a global economic slowdown and lingering uncertainties over the escalating U.S.-China trade row.

The trade surplus for the month stood at $210 million, rebounding from a deficit of $2.29 billion in April, the largest in nearly six years, data released on Monday by Statistics Indonesia showed.

Key points:

―― Exports fell moderately, declining 9.0 percent from a year earlier to $14.74 billion compared to a 9.6 percent drop in April.

―― Imports plunged 17.7 percent on year to $14.53 billion compared to a 4.7 percent fall in the previous month. The sharpest drop since November 2015 was partly due to weak consumption during the Muslim fasting month, Singapore’s Business Times reported.

―― Trade in both exports and imports of oil and gas as well as in other goods slowed in May.

―― The improved trade balance resulted in an unexpected surplus in the reporting month even though the downward trend still in exports continued. The January-May period saw a trade deficit of $2.14 billion.

Takeaway:

―― Suhariyanto, head of Statistics Indonesia, said the country faces a tough time boosting exports given the current slowdown in global economic activity.

―― He said the surplus, even though it is only $210 million, is a positive signal and a step in the right direction following recent deficits, the Jakarta Post reported.