Economic growth predicted to increase in first quarter

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesias economic growth in the first quarter of 2018 is predicted to be higher than the first quarter of 2017, backed by increasing government investment and consumption, stable private consumption and positive export performance.

"Increasing investment has occurred mainly in the construction sector in line with the completion of various infrastructure projects and the primary sector with growing external demand," Executive Director of the BI Communication Department, Agusman said on Friday.

He said stable private consumption is backed by maintained public purchasing power and increasing spending in relation to the upcoming local elections. Furthermore, increasing social assistance and village fund disbursements buoyed government consumption.

On the external front, the ongoing global economic recovery will maintain exports in positive territory.

Congruent with rising exports, imports are also predicted to increase for investment and export purposes with a high import content. Consequently, Indonesias economy is projected to grow in the 5.1-5.5 percent (yoy) range in 2018.

As of February 2018, the Indonesia trade balance recorded a deficit as the national economy accelerates.

The trade deficit stood at US$0.12 billion in February 2018, down from US$0.76 billion the month earlier.

Cumulatively, from January to February 2018, the trade balance recorded a US$0.87 billion deficit, as production activities were ramped up and investment increased on domestic economic gains, which drove non-oil and gas imports, particularly in the form of raw materials and capital goods.

Meanwhile, foreign capital income up to February 2018 reached US$0.30 billion, lower than the same period last year.

This development led to reserve assets standing at US$128.06 billion at the end of February 2018, equivalent to 8.1 months of imports or 7.9 months of imports and servicing government external debt, which is well above the international standard of three months.

Moving forward, in line with improvements in the domestic economic recovery, current account deficit on 2018 is expected to remain within the range of 2-2.5 percent of GDP, or under control and within a safe threshold, which is not more than 3 percent of GDP.

Source: ANTARA News

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