[JAKARTA] Indonesia's trade balance unexpectedly swung back to surplus in September as both imports and exports grew much slower than expected, data released by the statistics bureau showed on Monday.
Southeast Asia's largest economy had a trade surplus of US$230 million in September, compared with US$500 million deficit expected in a Reuters poll.
The country had a revised US$944 million deficit in August.
September imports were worth US$14.60 billion, up 14.18 per cent from a year earlier. The poll had expected imports to rise 24.76 per cent.
Exports grew 1.70 per cent in September from a year earlier to US$14.83 billion, compared with the poll forecast of a 7.58 per cent growth.
Indonesia has been struggling to address its increasing imports in the past few months but September's data shows that most exports are picking up.
Some measures, including higher tariffs, have been imposed to curb unnecessary imports of consumer goods to contain the trade gap and support the rupiah that has lost around 11 per cent of its value to the dollar so far this year.