Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) announced that Indonesia's trade balance deficit dropped sharply in 2019, reaching US$3.2 billion, with total exports of $167.53 billion in January-December 2019, and imports touching $170.72 billion.

"The deficit in 2019 is even lower, almost a third of the deficit occurring in 2018 at $8.6 billion," BPS Head Suhariyanto remarked in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Suhariyanto expounded that the deficit occurred since the oil and gas trade balance yet recorded a surplus of $6 billion, but imports in 2019 had registered a deficit of $9.3 billion, contributed by the rising oil prices.

Indonesia's trade in 2019 experienced a surplus with several countries: the United States, India, and the Netherlands.

In the meantime, trade with several countries -- Australia, Thailand and China -- experienced a deficit.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati earlier stated that the appreciation of the Indonesian rupiah against the US dollar had not impacted revenue in the state budget.

The rupiah strengthened against the US dollar only in recent weeks, and its impact for a year cannot be looked at on a daily basis, she stated at the parliament building here on Tuesday.

"It is true that we will still look at its development and impact on the state budget in the past year and not on a daily basis," she remarked.

The minister affirmed that the administration will still compute it on the basis of national and international economic developments to gauge the impact of the rupiah's strength on the national economy.

The rupiah's low exchange rate against the US dollar was not the sole contributor to the rising state revenues but external factors, including the continuation of the US-China trade agreement, too played a part, she pointed out.

Moreover, the government awaits a drop in the global interest rate that will allow for more capital inflows into Indonesia, she remarked.

"The low global interest rate will encourage capital inflows (into Indonesia)," she stated.

The government is also observant of the widening current account deficit since the rupiah's strengthening will cause the export value to go lower than the import value, she affirmed.

"We will also remain alert since we are yet recording the current account deficit," she added.

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Translator: Sella P, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Sri Haryati
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