Trade deficit to continue to riddle next government

Trade deficit to continue to riddle next government

Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution ANTARA/Astrid Faidlatul Habibah/am.

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's balance of trade that continues to suffer a deficit will present a significant challenge for the next government, according to Coordinating Economic Affairs Minister Darmin Nasution.

"The balance of trade that still suffers a deficit will have an impact on the current account," he stated at a discussion with the media on Friday.

He pointed out that the trade deficit was mostly contributed by the high deficit from oil and gas trade due to the country's dependence on imported oil and gas.

As a result, the non-oil/non-gas trade surplus, standing at US$4.5 billion until the end of September 2019, is insufficient to offset the oil and gas trade deficit that had reached $6.4 billion, he stated.

"The oil and gas trade deficit is still relatively large. However, the non-oil/non-gas trade has been positive," he remarked.

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The trade deficit is not a good economic achievement at the conclusion of President Joko Widodo's first tenure on this month-end. However, the other macro indicators remained stable.

Cumulatively, the country's trade deficit in the initial nine months of 2019 had reached $1.9 billion.

In September 2019, Indonesia's trade deficit had touched $160 million, with exports valued at $14.10 billion and imports, at $14.26 billion, the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) stated.

"We have concluded that a deficit of US$0.16 billion was recorded in September 2019. If we compare it with the position in September last year (y-o-y), there is a surplus of US$0.346 billion," BPS Chief Suhariyanto remarked recently.

Indonesia's exports in September 2019 had reached $14.10 billion, or a 1.29-percent decrease, from the exports in August 2019, or a drop of 5.75 percent, from that in September 2018.

Exports declined due to a 1.03 percent m-o-m drop in the non-oil and gas exports, notably from $13.4 billion in August 2019, to $13.26 billion in September 2019. Oil and gas exports also plunged 5.17 percent, from $875.3 million in August to $830.1 million in September.

Indonesia's total exports during the January-September 2019 period had reached $124.17 billion, or a drop of eight percent from that during the corresponding period in 2018. Its non-oil exports were recorded at $114.75 billion, or a drop of 6.22 percent.

The country's imports in September 2019 had touched $14.26 billion, or an increase of 0.63 percent from that in August 2019 but down 2.41 percent from the imports recorded in September 2018.

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