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Indonesia posts US$670m trade surplus in April

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Indonesia's trade surplus increased in April due to a larger-than-expected drop in imports, the statistics bureau said on Monday.

[JAKARTA] Indonesia's trade surplus increased in April due to a larger-than-expected drop in imports, the statistics bureau said on Monday.

The bureau said the country had a US$670 million surplus last month, compared to the median forecast in a Reuters poll of a US$190 million surplus and March's surplus of US$497 million.

Exports declined for the 19th consecutive month on a yearly basis in April, by 12.65 per cent, to US$11.45 billion. Analysts had expected a slower pace of decline.

Meanwhile imports, which have also contracted for as long, fell 14.62 per cent from a year ago to US$10.78 billion.

Low commodity prices have pressured Indonesia's overseas sales for years and falling exports revenue hurt purchasing power and investment, which in turn took a toll on imports.

As the decline in imports has been deeper than exports at times, the overall trade balance has improved and the current account deficit has shrunk from few years ago.

REUTERS