Indonesia posts larger-than-expected trade surplus in March as imports shrink By Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia reported a $4.47 billion trade surplus in March, data from the statistics bureau showed on Monday, larger than a forecast surplus of $1.13 billion in a Reuters poll as imports fell more than expected.

The surplus was also larger than February’s surplus of around $870 million, which was the smallest in nine months.

Exports dropped 4.19% to $22.43 billion year-on-year in March, while imports dropped 12.76% to $17.96 billion. A Reuters poll had forecast a 9.03% contraction in exports last month and 1.57% decline in imports.

Smaller purchases of machinery and electronic products contributed to the drop in imports, while the decline in exports was mostly due to the value of mining commodity shipments, said Statistic Indonesia’s chief Amalia Adininggar Widyasanti.

While the trade numbers were strong, Trimegah Securities economist Fakhrul Fulvian said he expected the central bank to deliver hawkish guidance at its policy meeting this week to shield the shaky rupiah.

The rupiah, hit by a strong U.S. dollar and rising tension in the Middle East, dropped to its lowest level last week. It gained 0.12% on Monday, but still hovered near its weakest since 2020.

A Reuters poll showed on Monday that 29 out of 35 analysts expected the central bank to keep its benchmark rate unchanged at its April 23-24 meeting, while six expected a 25 bps point hike.

The same survey also showed analysts pushed back their expectation of Indonesia’s rate cut to the next quarter, compared to expectations for a cut in the second quarter in a poll in March, followed by another reduction to 5.50% by the end of December, versus 5.25% seen previously.

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SOURCE: Investing.com – Economic Indicators News   (go to source)
AUTHOR: Reuters
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