Indonesia posts surprise trade surplus in Feb as imports slump
JAKARTA, March 15 (Reuters) - Indonesia posted a surprise
trade surplus for the first time in five months in February as
imports unexpectedly fell sharply, data from the statistics
bureau showed on Friday.
Southeast Asia's largest economy had a surplus of $329.5
million in February, compared with a Reuters poll prediction of
a $700 million gap.
Exports slumped 11.33 percent on year to $12.53 billion in
February as shipments of oil and gas and mining products fell,
the data showed, versus a 4.50 percent contraction expected in
February imports plunged 13.98 percent from a year earlier,
amounting to $12.20 billion, with overseas purchases of
everything from consumption to capital goods declining. The poll
had expected a marginal 0.30 percent increase.
The pace of contraction in both exports and imports was the
sharpest since June 2017, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
Jakarta has been struggling to reduce its trade deficit,
which hit a record high of $8.5 billion last year. Authorities
have raised import tariffs and relaxed export rules to try to
narrow the gap.
(Reporting by Tabita Diela and Nilufar Rizki
Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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