World News

Indonesia’s trade deficit seen swelling in January: Reuters poll

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s trade deficit is likely to have widened in January, with both exports and imports remaining weak at the start of the year, a Reuters poll showed.

The median forecast of 12 analysts in the poll was for a $270 million deficit in January, compared with December’s revised $61.7 million deficit.

Exports were seen up by 1.19% on-year in the month, which would be a second straight month that exports expand after months-long period of falling shipments. In December, exports grew 1.08%.

January’s imports likely fell 5.66% on-year, which would be a seventh straight month of contraction, compared with December’s drop of 5.59%.

There may be limited impact in January trade figures from the coronavirus outbreak in China, Indonesia’s biggest trade partner, as the epidemic had worsened closer to the end of the month, said Enrico Tanuwidjaja, economist with UOB in Jakarta, who warned February numbers may be affected.

(Polling by Tabita Diela and Nilufar Rizki; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Arun Koyyur)