Indonesia to post trade surplus anew

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    JAKARTA- Indonesia is expected to post its ninth monthly trade surplus in a row in January, but the amount is set to be smaller than the preceding month after growth in exports slowed, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday.

    The median forecast from 12 economists in the poll was for Southeast Asia’s biggest economy to record a $1.68 billion trade surplus in January, compared with a $2.1 billion surplus in December.

    The poll forecast exports recorded 13.59 percent annual growth last month, versus 14.63 percent a month earlier.

    Imports were forecast to show a contraction of 2.77 percent annually in January, compared with a 0.47 percent fall in December.

    Indonesia recorded a $21.74 billion trade surplus in 2020, the biggest in six years, as rising commodity prices and faster economic recovery in China, its main trade partner, fueled exports and with weak domestic demand pressuring imports.

    Faisal Rachman, an economist at Bank Mandiri in Jakarta, said high commodity prices and the global economic recovery would further support exports, helping the resource-rich economy to maintain a trade surplus in the first half of this year. – Reuters