The emerging markets have been getting hammered this year, but Indonesia exchange traded funds standing out, outperforming most Southeast Asian economies, as export growth bolstered the economy.
The iShares MSCI Indonesia ETF (NYSEArca: EIDO) has gained 2.5% year-to-date and the Market Vectors Indonesia ETF (NYSEArca: IDX) is up 0.7%. In comparison, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index is down 8.5%.
The Indonesian economy expanded a better-than-expected 5.7% in the fourth quarter, compared to average estimates of 5.3% and the third quarter’s 5.6%, reports Shuli Ren for Barron’s.
The expansion was due to accelerating exports, which rose 7.4% in the fourth quarter year-over-year from 3.8% in the third quarter, as domestic consumption slowed to 5.3% from 5.5%. [EM Account Surplus Trade Yields Mixed Results]
“We were particularly relieved to see consumer spending, which was very buoyant in 2Q and 3Q13, finally losing some steam,” HSBC analyst Su Sian Lim said in the article. “Today’s GDP report suggests that the broad-based domestic slowdown necessary to sustainably narrow Indonesia’s current account deficit and ease upward inflationary pressures may finally be emerging.”
Indonesia’s current account was at a $2.3 billion surplus in the last three months of 2013, compared to a $3.06 deficit in the third quarter, the Wall Street Journal reports. As the country moved into a trade surplus, the rupiah currency has remained better off in the latest round of global sell-offs.