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Indonesia March Trade Surplus Seen Narrowing to $3.99 bln

Jumat, 14 April 2023 / 13:38 WIB
Indonesia March Trade Surplus Seen Narrowing to $3.99 bln
ILUSTRASI. Trade surplus

Sumber: Reuters | Editor: Yudho Winarto

KONTAN.CO.ID - JAKARTA. Indonesia's March trade surplus was seen shrinking from the previous months, with exports softening amid moderating commodity prices and imports rising as the Muslim-majority country observed fasting month, a Reuters poll showed.

The median analysis of 11 economists in the survey showed the trade surplus in March probably narrowed to $3.99 billion from $5.48 billion in February.

Southeast Asia's largest economy has reported a trade surplus every month since mid-2020, including posting record high surpluses as global commodity prices shot up after the war broke out in Ukraine in February 2022.

Economists, however, have said the monthly surpluses would likely shrink this year as some commodity prices fall and import demand rises.

Economists in the poll predicted March exports falling 15.00% from the same month last year, due to high base effects, which would be the first annual contraction in exports since October 2020. February saw a yearly export growth of 4.51%.

March imports were seen declining 14.45% on an annual basis, versus a 4.32% contraction in February.

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Citi Indonesia economist Helmi Arman, who expected a $2.3 billion March surplus, said his prediction had factored in a possible post Chinese New Year rebound in imports from Asian countries and weaker commodity prices.

Faisal Rachman, Bank Mandiri's economist, noted that Indonesia's import demand was likely high in March due to the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan starting and ahead of Eid al-Fitr festivities in April.

A separate Reuters poll showed economists unanimously expected Indonesia's central bank to keep interest rates unchanged in its policy meeting next week, as inflation has continued to cool following its previous rate hikes.

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