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Indonesia Nov. trade surplus suggests economic recovery, despite inflation

JAKARTA -- Indonesia posted a robust trade surplus in November, data showed Thursday, in a sign of recovery in Southeast Asia's biggest nation that was plunged into economic turmoil in 2013.

Jakarta will welcome the news as it battles a deep current account deficit and poor trade performance, soaring inflation and a slump in the rupiah's value.

The November trade surplus of US$776.8 million, up from October's modest US$24.3 million surplus, is the country's highest since April 2012, and marks a major upswing since a record deficit of US$657.2 million in September.

Central Statistics Agency chief Suryamin, who goes by one name, said the recovery came thanks to an improvement in countries buying Indonesian exports, while the weak rupiah also made goods cheaper abroad.

But the overall trade balance for January to November 2013 is still in a substantial deficit of US$5.6 billion.

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