Indonesian Economic Slowdown

Indonesian economic growth in third quarter of 2008 increased by only 3.5 percent.

Jum'at, 21 November 2008, 10:54 Umi Kalsum, Nur Farida Ahniar
Central Statistics Agency Office
Central Statistics Agency Office (Vivanews/Nurcholis Anhari Lubis)

VIVAnews - Indonesian economic growth in third quarter of 2008 increased by 3.5 percent compared to second quarter of 2008. This has resulted in the economic growth of 6.3 percent within the last nine months. In addition, year-on-year growth was 6.1 percent.

The delayed growth was compared to the third quarter of 2007, which was 3.9 percent. In addition, cumulatively, the growth in 2007 (January-September 2008) was 6.34 percent. Meanwhile, the year-on-year growth was listed 6.5 percent.

"So, 2007 was better. That is why this is called a slowdown," said Head of Central Statistics Agency (BPS) Rusman Heriawan in Jakarta, Nov 17.

Rusman also said that the slowdown in economic growth until third quarter of 2008 was affected by world economic growth. "There is a decrease, from 5.2 percent, and it keeps falling. The second quarter still recorded better because the mortgage crisis was estimated to plunge," said Rusman.

However, the mortgage crisis in the United States continues, resulting in the world economic growth by second quarter of 2008 to be at 3.7 percent. As a result, world's economic environment altered from optimism to pessimism, going on until the fourth quarter. "Indonesia does not suffer from the crisis alone," he said.

The growth of top three countries, the United States, Japan and the England, drastically nosedived. The United States' growth, until the third quarter of 2008, is only at 1.6 percent compared to 3.7 percent on the first quarter of 2008. Japan's is estimated to be below one percent; Germany, 1.8 percent; England, one percent; and France, 0.8 percent. "So, regarding the economic growth, it is going to be pessimistic," he said.

Moreover, commodities prices climaxed in July 2008 and then continued to decline since. As for Indonesia, the prices for copper, aluminium and crude palm oil are decreasing as well. This has affected both Indonesia's exports and its economic growth.

BPS also noted that the export growth is slowing down, despite the fact that is is still growing. Year-on-year export by third quarter was only 14.33 percent. "This shows that there iks a slowdown. The growth rate was not as highly as the previous quarter," he said.

Import growth was higher than export. Export volume excluding oil and gas declined. Home expenditure grew at 1.89 percent as it was affected by Eid el-Fitr and the Ramadan. Yet, it slowed down compared to the similar position in the previous year. In addition, year-on-year growth was at 5.33 percent compared to 5.14 percent in 2007.

Nonetheless, on the third quarter, the government's expenditures will be somewhat higher and will peak on the fourth quarter. "There will be breakthrough in 2009, which will be triggered on the first quarter. The reason for this is that government expenditure will be one of the triggers for economic growth," he said.

Translated by: Bonardo Maulana Wahono

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