Indonesia’s May trade surplus to shrink to $3.02 billion – Reuters poll

JAKARTA : Economists surveyed in a Reuters poll expect Indonesia’s May trade surplus to shrink from the previous month, following a decline in exports because of weakening commodity prices.

The median expectation of the 19 economists was for the trade surplus in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy to fall to $3.02 billion from $3.94 billion in April.

Although Indonesia has enjoyed a monthly trade surplus since mid-2020, economists expect the trend to gradually decline this year due to the fall in commodity prices.

Economists in the poll predicted May exports to fall 8.7 per cent on an annual basis, although the contraction is less than 29.4 per cent the previous month, because of a low base effect.

May imports were also seen declining 11 per cent from the corresponding month last year, versus April’s contraction of 22.32 per cent.

Both exports and imports last month were still seen contracting because of a global economic slowdown, said Bank Mandiri economist Faisal Rachman, who forecast a trade surplus of $3.07 billion in May.

“The combination of falling commodity prices, subdued global economic environment, and domestic politics triggers a wait-and-see action in investment and production activities,” he said.

However, in month-on-month terms, both exports and imports were seen to have posted growth in May, Rachman added, as economic activity returned to normal after the April holiday of Eid al-Fitr that ended the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

(Polling by Anant Chandak and Madhumita Gokhale; Writing by Stefanno Sulaiman; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: Reuters