JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia’s trade surplus likely shrank in April due to a rise in imports ahead of the Muslim fasting month due to start later this month, a Reuters poll showed.
The median forecast from 10 analysts was for an April surplus of around $860 million, smaller than the $1.23 billion the country had in March.
Exports were seen posting another big gain, of 22.45 percent on an annual basis in April, following the 23.55 percent growth in March. March’s growth rate was the highest since August 2011, according to Thomson Reuters data.
April’s imports were seen rising 21.56 percent from a year earlier. Imports increased 18.19 percent in March.
Demand typically rises before the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan and in preparation for the Eid al-Fitr holiday after it. Firms usually stock up on imported goods to meet rising demand.
Resource-dependent Indonesia saw exports contract on a yearly basis every month from October 2014 through July 2016. But there was a strong recovery in shipments as commodity prices rebounded last year.
Stronger exports was the main factor the economy’s annual growth in the first quarter, 5.01 percent, was a touch stronger than in the last three months of 2016.
Polling by Nilufar Rizki; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by Richard Borsuk