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Indonesia 2004 GDP +5.1%, fundamentals improve JAKARTA - Indonesia's economy grew 5.1% in 2004 from a year earlier due to improved growth in investment and exports, the Central Statistics Bureau said Wednesday. The growth rate beat both government and analysts' predictions, suggesting the economy is on track to reach the government's 5.5% growth target this year. In the last quarter of 2004, the economy expanded 6.7% on year, although it contracted 1.6% from the July-September period due to shorter working days, the bureau said.
The government had projected the economy grew 4.8% in 2004, after a revised growth figure of 4.9% for 2003. The average forecast of six economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires put Indonesia's economic growth at 4.9% for all of 2004, and 5.1% on year during the fourth quarter. The bureau said investment grew 15.7% in 2004, whereas exports rose 8.5% from 2003.
The bureau said that investment's contribution to gross domestic product rose to 20.1% in 2004, from 18.9% in 2003, whereas, exports accounted for 30.9% of GDP last year, up slightly from 30.7%. "It was the highest growth in investment since 1997, showing that the investment climate improved as the government managed to safeguard security and social stability during elections," said Juniman, senior economist with Bank Internasional Indonesia. "A 5%-6% growth rate this year is within reach."
Rising investment, and exports showed an improvement in the fundamentals underlying the economic growth, which since 2000 has been mainly driven by private consumption. "Fundamentally, economic growth in 2004 was better (than in previous years), which we expect to continue in the future," said Rusman Heriawan, a deputy chairman with the statistics bureau.
Analysts are generally optimistic that investment here will continue to rise as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's government is making serious efforts to improve the investment climate by removing regulations that have hampered investment, and stepping up efforts to fight endemic corruption. The government last month offered 91 infrastructure projects to local and domestic investors, and plans to draw $150 billion into infrastructure projects to support a 6.6% annual growth target over the next five years.
Still, economists say that amicable solutions to high profile business disputes with the U.S.'s Exxon Mobil Corp., the Mexican cement producer Cemex S.A. and the power company Karaha Bodas Co. will be crucial to attracting foreign investors. The impact of December's tsunami on the economy last year was insignificant, as Aceh province, where the devastation occurred, accounts for only around 2% of the economy. Private consumption rose 4.9% on year in 2004, but its contribution to GDP decreased slightly, to 66.5% from 67.1% in 2003.
Government expenditures increased a modest 2% on year in 2004, as belt tightening measures to narrow the deficit in the state budget continued. The bureau said that all industrial sectors experienced growth last year, but the mining and quarry sector dropped 4.6% on year due to lack of legal certainties regulating the sector. The highest growth was recorded in transportation and telecommunications, which grew 12.7% on year, followed by construction, which expanded 8.2%, the bureau said.
Looking ahead, the bureau said it expects higher growth for the first quarter of 2005. It didn't elaborate. Separately, Bank Indonesia, the nation's central bank, predicted Wednesday the economy will likely grow 5%-6% on year during the January-March period.



Posted in Economy @ 16 February 2005 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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