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Indonesia posts smaller trade surplus in May

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Indonesia's trade surplus narrowed in May as imports rose ahead of the Muslim fasting month, the statistics bureau said on Wednesday.

[JAKARTA] Indonesia's trade surplus narrowed in May as imports rose ahead of the Muslim fasting month, the statistics bureau said on Wednesday.

The bureau said South-east Asia's largest economy recorded a trade surplus of around US$375.6 million last month, compared to the median forecast in a Reuters poll for a US$680 million surplus and April's revised surplus of US$660 million.

Imports declined by 4.12 per cent from a year earlier in May, the slowest pace of contraction since October 2014, to US$11.14 billion. The pace of contraction was smaller the 5.92 per cent expected in a Reuters poll.

May's imports rose nearly 3 per cent from a month earlier.

Exports were down 9.75 per cent annually in May, the 20th straight month of decline, to US$11.51 billion. The poll had expected a 7.90 per cent annual fall.

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Indonesia has recorded a trade surplus almost every month since the start of 2015.

Low commodity prices have pressured Indonesia's shipments for years and falling export revenue has hurt purchasing power and investment, which in turn has taken a toll on imports.

REUTERS

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