15 Mar 2021 | News & Feature

Trade Data in February 2021: A Note on Recovery Signals

  • Indonesia recorded another trade surplus amounting to USD2.0 billion in February 2021, even as annual import growth (+14.9%) outpaced annual export growth (+8.6%).
  • The significant rebound in imports however, isn’t necessarily indicative of a large-scale economic recovery that it seems to suggest. Statistical discrepancies coming from low base import growth figures recorded last year (COVID began to wreak noticeable havoc on imports last February) may have helped inflate last month’s import figures.
  • None of this is to say however, that there is no real uptrend to be observed. The drop in daily new COVID cases, ongoing vaccinations, as well as the nearing of Lebaran, may point to some form of an uptick in the coming months. Viewed from this lens then, February’s higher import figures may partly reflect expectations of such a recovery.