JAKARTA, Feb 15 — Indonesia posted a surprise trade deficit of US$670 million (RM2.6 million) in January, the statistics bureau said today, its biggest in almost four years and against expectations of a small surplus.
The deficit widened from US$270 million in December, and was the biggest since April 2014, due to higher imports for manufacturing activities.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast a US$190-million surplus for January.
Exports rose 7.86 per cent annually in January, compared with 6.93 per cent in December, supported by shipments of mining and manufactured goods, the statistics bureau said.
That was slightly higher than the 7.30 per cent increase forecast in the Reuters poll.
Imports however, far outpaced the rise in exports, the bureau said, boosted by purchase of electrical and mechanical machinery.
Imports grew 26.44 per cent, up from 17.83 per cent a month earlier, and higher than the 19.30 per cent growth forecast. — Reuters