JAKARTA (June 25): Indonesia's trade deficit narrowed to US$1.52 billion in May but was worse than expected, due to higher oil prices, the country's statistics agency said on Monday.
That compared to a revised US$1.63 billion deficit posted in April, which was the largest in four years. A poll by Reuters was for a deficit of US$380 million in May.
Imports grew by 28.12% from a year earlier, after jumping by 35% in the previous month. Analysts had expected imports to grow 13.88%.
"This increase (in imports) was due to higher oil prices," Suhariyanto, the statistics agency's chief, told reporters.
Global oil prices rose in recent months due to supply concerns for some major producers.
Total imports in May were valued at US$17.64 billion.
Exports from Southeast Asia's largest economy grew by 12.47% annually in May, a higher-than-expected rate, with shipments of metals boosting the total exports to US$16.12 billion.