Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is optimistic its economy will grow 4.5 percent in 2009 in spite of the impact of the global financial crisis on several of its economic sectors.
Its finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said after a limited cabinet meeting on economy on Monday "our projection remains between 4.0 and 4.5 percent until the end of this year. Indeed international institutes are projecting the country`s economy will only grow 3.0 to 3.4 percent."
She said the country`s economic growth in the first quarter could still reach above 4.0 percent and this was a good beginning to show that the country`s economy remained quite resilient against the negative impact of the global economic crisis.
She said she predicted the country`s economy grew between 4.3 and 4.8 percent in the first quarter on consumption that grew 5.5 percent.
She said household economic growth in the period was predicted to be between 4.3 and 5.0 percent or down from 6.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008.
"The consumption growth of between 4.3 and 5.0 percent is still quite high as several parties are predicting that the country`s economy will grow lower than expectations," she said.
The growth of government consumption in the first quarter this year is predicted at between 8.0 and 13.1 percent or higher than that of the same period last year.
The minister said the global financial crisis had affected investment as well as export and import performance as shown by first quarter figures.
Investment is predicted to grow 5.0 to 6.5 percent in the first quarter or lower than the average growth in 2008 that reached double-digit between 10 and 13 percent. "So there has been a correction of more than 50 percent," she said.
Exports in the period contracted between minus 6.0 and minus 9.0 percent or dropped sharply from 13.6 percent in the same period last year.
"In the fourth quarter of 2008 our exports grew almost 1.8 percent so contraction in the first period of 2009 is a declining trend resulting from global economic downturn," she said.
Imports also contracted in the first quarter of 2009 between minus 8.0 percent and minus 12 percent and because the drop was deeper than that of exports the country`s trade balance remained positive at US$607 million until the end of March.
Exports in the first quarter reached US$22.55 billion while imports US$18.578 billion, leaving a surplus of US$3.974 billion. (*)