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Southeast Asia's biggest economy posts first trade deficit in 19 months

  • Indonesia posted its first trade deficit since late 2015 in July
  • The data follows June's Eid holidays

Indonesia posted its first trade deficit since late 2015 in July, as imports surged more than exports did, the statistics bureau said on Tuesday.

Southeast Asia's largest economy had a trade deficit of $271.2 million in July. A Reuters poll had forecast a $1.1 billion surplus. June's trade surplus was revised on Tuesday to $1.67 billion.

A chip factory in Indonesia
Getty Images
A chip factory in Indonesia

During July, both exports and imports increased sharply on an annual basis, because of a low base from July 2016, when the Eid al-Fitr holidays at the end of the Muslim fasting month fell. This year, the holidays were in June.

In July this year, exports rose 41.12 percent on a yearly basis to $13.62 billion, compared with the median forecast in a Reuters poll of 31.12 percent. June's exports declined 11.71 percent from a year earlier.

July imports jumped 54.02 percent from last year to $13.89 billion. The poll had expected an increase of 30.34 percent. Imports declined 17.40 percent in June.