Indonesia said Wednesday it recorded an all-time trade deficit in June, and that ongoing global worries might result in a full-year trade deficit for the Southeast Asian country.
June’s data released by the Central Statistics Agency showed a deficit of $1.3 billion, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
“We’ve never recorded a deficit this huge, even during crises,” Satwiko Darmesto, a director with the Central Statistics Agency, was quoted as saying.
“We may post an annual trade deficit this year due to the impact of eurozone (worries) and the situation in China and India,” he added.
During the 2008-2009 global economic slowdown, Indonesia’s exports were supported by demand from Asian giants such as China and India. This year, however, demand from both countries has slowed.
“The trade-deficit figure is a worrying one, but the biggest worry would be if the data shows China’s demand significantly slowed,” Bank Danamon economist Anton Hendranata said.
The data “will weigh on the rupiah… but it is unlikely to have a huge impact on overall economic growth”, he added.
Hendranata tipped the Indonesian economy to grow about 6.1 percent this year, slowing from last year’s 6.5 percent, but said that is “good enough amid these global conditions”.
Analysts have forecast growth of more than six percent this year, as strong domestic demand buffers the nation of 240 million people from external shocks.
But the resource-rich country also sells commodities such as coal and metals worth billions of dollars each year to China, whose slowdown has weakened global commodity prices.