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Indonesia Dec trade surplus biggest in 2 years as exports surge

Published on Feb 3, 2014 2:30 PM

JAKARTA, Feb 3 (REUTERS) - Indonesia posted its third straight monthly trade surplus in December and its biggest in two years, in a welcome sign for South-east Asia's biggest economy amid investor worries about turbulence in other emerging markets.

The trade surplus in December totalled US$1.52 billion (S$1.94 billion), the largest since December 2011, the statistics bureau said. That followed a revised US$790 million surplus in November and was more than double the median estimate of a US$550 million surplus in a Reuters poll of economists.

Indonesia's rupiah - one of the so-called Fragile Five emerging market currencies - slid more than 20 per cent last year, hit by investor unease about the country's high current account deficit and the impact of a reduction in US monetary stimulus.

But the rupiah has held largely steady so far this year, helped in part as the Indonesian central bank has raised interest rates aggressively since last June. The rupiah pared earlier losses to trade at 12,215 per US dollar following Monday's data.

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