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Economy

Indonesia posts biggest trade deficit in 4 years in April

JAKARTA (Reuters) -- Indonesia posted its biggest trade deficit in four years as imports surged in April, wrongfooting analysts expecting a surplus for the month, data released on Tuesday by the statistics bureau showed.

Southeast Asia's largest economy had a deficit of $1.62 billion in April, compared with a revised surplus of $1.12 billion in March. A Reuters poll of economists had expected a surplus of about $700 million in April.

April imports were up 34.68 percent from a year earlier, beating the poll's forecast of 19 percent growth and the revised 8.9 percent rise posted in March.

The bureau said imports of oil as well as consumption goods, like garlic, frozen meat and fruits, rose sharply in April.

Meanwhile, exports rose 9.01 percent from a year ago in April, slower than expected in the poll. Export growth in March was 5.9 percent.

The bureau made small revisions to March exports and imports data. Exports were revised up to $15.59 billion from $15.58 billion. Imports were revised down to $14.46 billion from $14.49 billion.

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