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Indonesia ekes out trade surplus, but rupiah still shaky

Published on Jul 1, 2014 4:52 PM
 
Indonesia posted a small trade surplus in May as imports fell more than expected, helping to take some pressure off the fragile rupiah ahead of a presidential vote next week. -- PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia posted a small trade surplus in May as imports fell more than expected, helping to take some pressure off the fragile rupiah ahead of a presidential vote next week.

Southeast Asia's largest economy has been trying to curb strong consumption amid sliding exports to keep its current-account deficit from widening and hurting confidence.

The country's trade balance for May returned to surplus, a modest US$70 million (S$ 87 milliom) compared with expectations for US$410 million, but analysts said this was still a relief after the previous month's shock deficit.

"The fact that exports managed to outdo imports this time round comes at a very fortunate time, especially after April's hefty US$2 billion deficit," said Wellian Wiranto, economist at OCBC Bank in Singapore.

 
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