MACROECONOMICS - JAKARTA. Indonesia's trade surplus likely declined to $4.26 billion in November, the lowest level in four months, as growth in exports slowed amid weakening global trade, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.
Southeast Asia's biggest economy has benefited from high global commodity prices this year, but export growth has come off the boil in recent months as prices of some key commodities moderated and global trade slowed.
The median forecast from 17 economists in a Reuters poll was for a $4.26 billion surplus in November, the smallest since July and below October's surplus of $5.67 billion.
Export growth was seen at 9.50% annually in November, the lowest since February, 2021, and slower than October's 12.30%. Import growth was seen dropping to 7%, from 17.44% in October.
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Faisal Rachman, an economist with Bank Mandiri, said import growth in November may have declined due to slowing activity in the local manufacturing industry, while the slowdown in exports was in line with a declining purchasing managers' index globally.
Still, Bank Mandiri is predicting a $4.64 billion trade surplus for last month and has revised up its current account surplus forecast for 2022 to around 1% of gross domestic product (GDP), from 0.45%, Faisal said.
Indonesia's strong trade performance this year has helped limit the rupiah's depreciation against the strong U.S. dollar.
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