Indonesia’s September trade surplus exceeds estimates on solid commodities

  • Exports + 47.6% y / y, vs + 51.6% in survey
  • Imports + 40.3% y / y, vs + 50% in survey
  • Surplus of $ 4.37 billion is higher than $ 3.84 billion seen in survey
  • Trade surplus reaffirms cenbank’s desire to maintain interest rates

JAKARTA, Oct. 15 (Reuters) – Indonesia’s trade surplus in September was larger than expected as exports surged on the impact of soaring commodity prices, government data showed on Friday, cementing hopes for a rapid economic recovery.

The resource-rich country recorded a trade surplus of $ 4.37 billion in September, according to data from the country’s statistics office. That was above the median estimate of $ 3.84 billion, according to analysts polled earlier by Reuters.

Indonesia recorded a historic surplus of $ 4.74 billion in August. It has posted a trade surplus every month since May 2020.

Analysts said robust exports are expected to cushion the economic impact of the devastating wave of COVID-19 in Indonesia in the third quarter.

The trade surplus would also help Southeast Asia’s largest economy reduce its current account deficit, making its financial market less vulnerable to capital outflows and allowing the central bank to maintain accommodative monetary policy for longer.

“The surplus is still large due to soaring commodity prices, which is positive for our economy and the outlook for liquidity (in US dollars),” said Fakhrul Fulvian, chief economist at Trimegah Sekuritas.

“This means that the Bank of Indonesia will keep its interest rates stable next week,” he added, referring to a central bank policy meeting scheduled for Monday through Tuesday.

Bank Indonesia is expected to keep its main policy rates unchanged until the third quarter of 2022, according to a new Reuters poll. Read more

September’s exports rose 47.64% to $ 20.60 billion from a year earlier, compared to the poll’s growth forecast of 51.57%.

Coal and copper shipments remained strong, each increasing by more than 160%, while overseas sales of palm oil, steel, and oil and gas products also recorded a high increase.

September’s imports rose 40.31% to $ 16.23 billion, from 50% of the poll’s forecast, as imports of consumer goods jumped nearly 60%.

Reporting by Gayatri Suroyo and Fransiska Nangoy; Edited by Christopher Cushing and Ramakrishnan M.

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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