Indonesia's Trade Surplus Slumps in May, Ahead of Ramadan

By I Made Sentana Features Dow Jones Newswires

Indonesia's trade surplus slumped to $470 million in May from $1.24 billion in April as imports of consumer goods surged ahead of Muslim festivities in late June to mark the end of the Ramadan fasting month.

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Indonesia's imports rose 15.7% to $13.82 billion in May from a month earlier as imports of consumer goods gained 9.3%. From a year earlier, imports surged 24.0%, the Central Statistics Agency said Thursday.

Exports rose at a slower pace of 7.6% from a month earlier to $14.29 billion, and increased 24.1% from a year earlier. Lower commodity prices weighed on exports, the agency said.

Economists expect improvement in the U.S. and Chinese economies may support commodity prices in the medium to longer term, which means Indonesia will likely enjoy healthy trade surpluses. A healthy trade surplus will help cushion the rupiah against possible capital outflows triggered by any Federal Reserve rate increases.

-- Write to I Made Sentana at i-made.sentana@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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June 15, 2017 00:51 ET (04:51 GMT)