Indonesia likely to record trade deficit in October

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Indonesia's trade deficit is likely to have widened in October from the previous month, weighed down by sluggish global trade and weakening world economic growth amid the US-China tariff dispute, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.

The median forecast of 13 economists in the poll was for a trade deficit of $280 million in October as exports and imports were seen extending their decline, wider than the $163.9 million deficit in September.

Southeast Asia's largest economy recorded a trade gap of $1.95 billion in the first nine months of 2019, reflecting falling prices of the country's main commodities and sluggish global trade.

President Joko Widodo, who began his second term in office last month, has made reducing the trade gap a priority, ordering his cabinet members to find ways to substitute imports and boost exports.

In October, economists in the poll predicted exports to have dropped 8.38% on-year, compared with September's revised 5.73% decline.

October imports were seen shrinking 16% annually, which would make it the sharpest fall in five months, compared with a revised 2.37% drop a month earlier.

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