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Indonesia swings back to trade surplus in Aug

[JAKARTA] Indonesia's external trade returned to a surplus in August, led by growth in manufacturing and mining exports, and produced the biggest surplus in more than five years, the statistics bureau said on Friday.

August surplus was US$1.72 billion, the bureau said, outpacing the US$520 million a Reuters poll had expected.

In July, South-east Asia's largest economy had its first trade deficit since late 2015.

Exports and imports increased sharply from July 2016 due to a low base as the Eid al-Fitr holidays fell in that month last year. The holidays for 2017 were in June.

August exports on a yearly basis rose 19.24 per cent.

The poll had expected an 8.30 per cent growth rate.

Shipments in August were worth US$15.21 billion.

Manufacturing and mining exports led the growth in shipments in August.

Meanwhile, imports were up 8.89 per cent in August at US$13.49 billion, compared with the poll forecast of an 8.30 per cent growth.