Indonesia extended its trade surplus for 47 consecutive months in March 2024, the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) announced on Monday (22/4/24,) reaching USD 4.47 billion in March this year, according to reporting from Tempo.

“The trade surplus in March 2024 is higher than the previous month and the same month last year,” BPS acting head Amalia Adiningar Widyasanti said at a press conference in Jakarta.

Amalia said the surplus was contributed by the non-oil and gas sector, amounting to USD 6.51 billion, while the oil and gas sector had a deficit of USD 2.04 billion.

“The three countries contributing the largest surplus in 2024 are the United States with USD 1.50 billion, India with USD 1.43 billion, and the Philippines with USD 771.7 million,” she said.

Meanwhile, Indonesia’s export value in March 2024 reached USD 22.43 billion, an increase of 16.40 percent compared to February. On a year-on-year basis, the export value declined by 4.19 percent, reports Tempo.

Despite the strong trade figures, Trimegah Securities economist Fakhrul Fulvian expects the central bank to take a hawkish stance at its policy meeting this week to protect the vulnerable rupiah. The currency, hit by a strengthening dollar and rising tensions in the Middle East, plunged to its lowest level last week. The rupiah rebounded 0.12 percent on Monday, but is still close to its weakest level since 2020.

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

The same poll also showed analysts scaling back their expectations for a rate cut in Indonesia next quarter, compared with expectations for a cut in the Q2 in a March poll, followed by another cut to 5.50 percent at the end of December, according to Tempo.


Source: Tempo

Stock image by Tom Fisk on Pexels 

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