Revenue-Rich Indonesia Braces for Tighter Finances Next Year

Indonesia is bracing for leaner times next year as the commodity windfall that has kept its budget in surplus for seven straight months is expected to taper off.

State revenue will likely fall next year as global coal and palm oil prices weaken, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said Monday.

The resource boom is seen earning Indonesia 279 trillion rupiah ($18.76 billion) in commodity tax revenues and 48.9 trillion rupiah in export levies this year.

Indonesia’s commodity earnings helped offset its generous spending on subsidies to place the budget surplus at 0.57% of gross domestic product in July, putting the country in an enviable spot as its peers grapple with bloated deficits.

Next year, the government will keep wielding the state budget as a “shock absorber” and maintain large state aid to stabilize local prices while keeping a pledge to rein in the deficit to below 3% of GDP, said Indrawati.

President Joko Widodo is slated to present the 2023 annual budget on August 16.

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