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Jakarta Post

Improved trade deficit did little for economy, experts say

  • Adrian Wail Akhlas

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, January 16, 2020   /  11:36 am
The Jakarta Post Image
Keep it steady: A worker gestures as a crane lifts lumber for export onto a cargo vessel at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province, China, in December.(Reuters/Stringer)

The narrowing of Indonesia's trade deficit likely did little to stoke economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2019 given the country’s weak exports and imports, economists have said. Indonesia recorded exports worth a total of US$167.53 billion in 2019 and imports at $170.72 billion, resulting in a $3.2 billion trade deficit, Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data shows. Although the deficit was much lower than $8.7 billion recorded in 2018, total exports contracted 6.9 percent last year and total imports plunged deeper at 9.53 percent, signifying weak overall trade activities. University of Indonesia rector Arie Kuncoro said the trade tensions around the globe had resulted in a lack of demand for Indonesia’s products, adding that it took a toll on the country’s exports and imports last year. “The trade deficit did not have much of an impact on the count...