JAKARTA (Reuters) -- Indonesia surprisingly posted a larger-than-expected trade deficit in October, as sluggish export growth failed to cover surging import bills, data from the statistics bureau showed on Thursday.
The trade deficit stood at $1.82 billion in October, compared with a $170 million deficit expected in a Reuters poll and a $313 million surplus in September.
Imports in October jumped 23.66 percent from a year earlier to $17.62 billion, significantly higher than the poll's 9.20 percent forecast, on higher purchases of everything from consumer durables to capital goods.
Exports rose 3.59 percent in October to $15.80 billion, higher than the poll's 1.81 percent forecast.
Southeast Asia's largest economy has been struggling to address increasing imports in the past few months. Some measures, including higher tariffs, have been imposed to curb imports, to contain the trade gap and support the rupiah that has lost around 8 percent of its value against the dollar so far this year.