Indonesia records biggest trade deficit ever in April

Indonesia posted its widest monthly trade deficit in history in April as exports plummeted, while the pace of fall in imports was slower than expected.
A view of Indonesian capital Jakarta (Photo: FIM)
A view of Indonesian capital Jakarta (Photo: FIM)

According to data from Refinitiv Eikon data company, the resource-rich country recorded its first trade deficit in three months at US$2.5 billion in April, also the highest ever to date. 

Indonesia’s exports in April were at $12.60 billion, down 13.10 percent year-on-year, while its imports fell 6.58 percent to $15.10 billion.

Wisnu Wardana, an economist from Bank Danamon in Jakarta, said the data makes the Bank Indonesia (BI) even less likely to ease monetary policy in the near term. The BI has been pressured to cut interest rates after the US Federal Reserve turned dovish.

China, Indonesia's biggest trade partner, contributed $1.9 billion to the deficit in April. Indonesia had a $704 million surplus in its trade with the US in the same month.

Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has warned a decrease in trade can cause pressure on Indonesia’s economic growth. The country has set a growth rate of 5.3 percent for 2019.

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