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Indonesia swings to small trade deficit in July

JAKARTA, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Indonesia posted a smaller-than-expected trade deficit in July after two months of surpluses, data from the country’s statistics bureau showed on Thursday.

Southeast Asia’s largest economy had a $63.5 million deficit in July, the bureau said, compared with a trade surplus of $297.3 million in June. A Reuters poll of economists had forecast a $420 million deficit for July.

The pace of contraction in July exports slowed to 5.12% on-year, from about 9% the previous month and was less than the 11.4% expected in the poll. That brought July’s export value to $15.45 billion.

Oil and gas exports were up 13.35% on an annual basis, cushioning the drop in shipments of manufactured and mining goods.

Meanwhile, imports were down 15.21% on-year to $15.51 billion, versus the poll’s 18.12% decline.

The resource-rich country has seen its exports and imports falling on an annual basis in recent months, in line with softer global trade amid the U.S.-China trade war, except in June, when imports ticked up slightly. (Reporting by Tabita Diela and Maikel Jefriando Writing by Gayatri Suroyo Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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