Jakarta: Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati is confident that the country's balance of payments will register another surplus in the first quarter of 2019.
"If we continue to carry out sustainable programs, we will be able to resolve the issue," the former World Bank managing director told Medcom.id on Wednesday, February 13, 2019.
According to Bank Indonesia's report, the country's balance of payments in the fourth quarter of 2018 registered a surplus of USD5.4 billion. It was supported by an increase in the capital and financial account surplus.
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With this development, the official reserve asset position at the end of December 2018 increased to USD120.7 billion. It was equivalent to 6.5 months of imports and government foreign debt.
According to the same report, the capital and financial account surplus was recorded at USD15.7 billion last quarter. It increased from USD3.9 billion in the previous quarter.
"This increase was mainly supported by the improvement in portfolio investment performance, in line with a surge in foreign capital inflows on domestic financial assets. The increased surplus was also supported by the global bond issuances by government and corporations. In addition, optimism on Indonesia's economic prospects has encouraged domestic businesses to withdraw their deposits at offshore banks to meet business needs causing a surplus in other investments," the central bank said in a written statement early this month.
On the other hand, the current account deficit in the fourth quarter of 2018 was recorded at USD9.1 billion (3.57% of GDP) last quarter. It increased from USD8.6 billion (3.28% of GDP) in the previous quarter.