JAKARTA, GESAHKITA COM—Indonesia’s economic growth kept pace in the first quarter of the year, official data showed Friday, ahead of an expected slowdown that analysts said would be triggered by lagging exports and high interest rates.
Southeast Asia’s largest economy expanded 5.03 percent on-year in the period running from January through March, slightly up from 5.01 in the previous three months, Statistics Indonesia said, May 5, 2023.
The continued growth was driven by household spending, metal and mineral exports, and returning tourists, Statistics Indonesia official Edy Mahmud told a press conference.
“The trend… is at the five percent level, indicating that Indonesia’s economic growth is still stable,” he said.
Indonesia bounced back from the coronavirus pandemic last year, posting its highest level of growth since 2013 on the back of soaring export prices and the lifting of travel restrictions.
But the record-high commodity prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have started to ease, and countries including Indonesia have kept tightening monetary policy.
“We think the economy is set to struggle over the coming quarters,” said Gareth Leather, senior Asia economist at Capital Economics.
“Our forecast that global growth will struggle and that commodity prices will remain subdued suggest that exports will stay weak.”
Leather predicted Indonesia’s annual growth would fall from 5.3 percent last year to 4.8 percent this year.