Sri Mulyani blames widening trade deficit on global economic slowdown

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has blamed the global economic slowdown for November’s widening trade deficit, which was recorded at US$2.05 billion, an increase from the $1.82 billion deficit recorded in the previous month.

“We have to look at it carefully. China’s economic growth is being adjusted both because of its internal policies and the trade war,” Sri Mulyani said as quoted by, adding that global uncertainty contributed to Indonesia’s trade deficit.

Statistics Indonesia said on Monday that the US$2.05 billion deficit in in November was higher than the $2.03 billion trade deficit recorded in July, then the highest deficit in five years. With the November figure, the year-to-date trade balance sits at minus $7.52 billion.

She said the trade balance would still face challenges in the future because of global uncertainties, particularly those triggered by the trade war between the United States and China.

Sri Mulyani also noted that the exports performance was affected by weak commodity prices.

“Meanwhile, the [poor] economic conditions in new markets mean there are limited resources for importing,” she said, adding that the government would continue to work harder to boost exports.

She said the government policy to impose tariffs on 1,147 items as part of efforts to curb imports had started to work. ”The volume of imports had in fact declined,” she said. (bbn)

The Jakarta Post

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