Indonesia 2012 current account deficit at 2.7% of GDP, wider than expected

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia's current account deficit in 2012 was 2.7 per cent of gross domestic product, wider than the initial target of 2.4 per cent, the central bank said on Wednesday.

The full year's current account deficit was US$24.18 billion (S$30 billion), compared with a surplus of US$1.7 billion in 2011, as exports from Southeast Asia's largest economy fell while imports surged, giving the country its first-ever trade deficit.

The current account deficit in the fourth quarter was US$7.76 billion, Bank Indonesia said, which it said was equivalent to 3.6 per cent of GDP.

Worries about trade and current account deficits have raised concerns among investors and pressured the rupiah, making it the worst performing emerging Asian market currency last year.

Bank Indonesia said the country's balance of payments in 2012 had a surplus of US$165 million, down from US$11.9 billion the previous year. In the fourth quarter, the balance of payments had a US$3.2 billion surplus.

The central bank said this week it expects the current account to improve in the first quarter of this year , as exports are seen picking up with an economic recovery in major markets such as China and the United States.

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