Indonesia's trade gap narrowed in August, although the deficit was larger than expected, following a much slower growth in exports during the month, data released by the statistics bureau showed on Monday (17/09). (Antara Photo/M. Agung Rajasa)

Indonesia's July Trade Deficit Larger Than Expected at $2b


AUGUST 15, 2018

Jakarta. Indonesia posted a large trade deficit in July as imports surged more than expected, according to data released by the statistics bureau on Wednesday (15/08).

Southeast Asia's largest economy had a trade deficit of $2.03 billion in July, data showed, way larger than the $600 million deficit expected in a Reuters poll.

The country had a revised surplus of $1.71 billion in June, but had been reporting more monthly trade deficits earlier this year due to surging imports.

July imports were worth $18.27 billion, up 31.56 percent from a year earlier, the steepest increase in a year. The poll had expected imports to grow 14.10 percent.

Imports of consumer goods rose over 60 percent from a year earlier, though they only represent less than 10 percent of the total import value.

Exports also increased more than expected with a growth rate of 19.33 percent in July from a year earlier, compared with the poll forecast of 11.35 percent. Total exports in July were worth $16.24 billion as shipment of mining products surged.

Indonesia's government will impose a 7.5 percent import tax on about 500 goods that can be locally made, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said on Tuesday.