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 $1.72 billion, the bureau said, outpacing the $520 million a Reuters poll had expected.
In July, Southeast 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 Idul Fitri holidays fell in that month last year. The holidays for 2017 were in June.
August exports on a yearly basis rose 19.24 percent. The poll had expected an 8.30 percent growth rate. Shipments in August were worth $15.21 billion. Manufacturing and mining exports led the growth in shipments in August.
Meanwhile, imports were up 8.89 percent in August at $13.49 billion, compared with the poll forecast of an 8.30 percent growth.