Indonesia posts biggest-ever trade deficit

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container-shipIndonesia on September 2 unexpectedly reported a record trade deficit for July 2013 of $2,3 billion, up from $880 million in the previous month due to a rise in oil imports, the biggest monthly gap ever. The rupiah and stocks fell further and inflation accelerated.

Exports fell a worse-than-expected 6.1 per cent from a year earlier while imports topped expectations by rising 6.5 per cent.

Consumer prices rose 8.79 per cent in August 2013 from a year earlier, the greatest increase since January 2009. The deficit enlarges the current account gap, which has battered the currency and confidence in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

The record trade deficit is unlikely to continue and the shortfall for the year should range from $6 billion to $7 billion, Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said. The current account gap will remain for many months, he added. The central bank forecasts inflation of about 9 to 9.8 per cent by the end of 2013, but analysts say it may peak at about 10 to 10.5 per cent in December 2013 or January 2014 because of rising oil prices, higher minimum wages and the weak rupiah.

The rupiah has tumbled nearly 12 per cent in 2013 as worries about Indonesia’s fiscal health prompted foreign investors to sell Indonesian bonds, stocks and other assets. The rupiah is the second worst-performing Asian currency in 2013, after the rupee, and seems set so cross the psychologically important barrier of 11,000 to the US dollar shortly.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Indonesia on September 2 unexpectedly reported a record trade deficit for July 2013 of $2,3 billion, up from $880 million in the previous month due to a rise in oil imports, the biggest monthly gap ever. The rupiah and stocks fell further and inflation accelerated.

Reading Time: 1 minute

container-shipIndonesia on September 2 unexpectedly reported a record trade deficit for July 2013 of $2,3 billion, up from $880 million in the previous month due to a rise in oil imports, the biggest monthly gap ever. The rupiah and stocks fell further and inflation accelerated.

Exports fell a worse-than-expected 6.1 per cent from a year earlier while imports topped expectations by rising 6.5 per cent.

Consumer prices rose 8.79 per cent in August 2013 from a year earlier, the greatest increase since January 2009. The deficit enlarges the current account gap, which has battered the currency and confidence in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

The record trade deficit is unlikely to continue and the shortfall for the year should range from $6 billion to $7 billion, Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said. The current account gap will remain for many months, he added. The central bank forecasts inflation of about 9 to 9.8 per cent by the end of 2013, but analysts say it may peak at about 10 to 10.5 per cent in December 2013 or January 2014 because of rising oil prices, higher minimum wages and the weak rupiah.

The rupiah has tumbled nearly 12 per cent in 2013 as worries about Indonesia’s fiscal health prompted foreign investors to sell Indonesian bonds, stocks and other assets. The rupiah is the second worst-performing Asian currency in 2013, after the rupee, and seems set so cross the psychologically important barrier of 11,000 to the US dollar shortly.

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