Business

Indonesia economy grows at weakest pace since 2009

Jakarta market Image copyright AFP
Image caption Growth in Asian giant Indonesia fell to its lowest in six years in the first quarter

South East Asia's largest economy, Indonesia, grew at its weakest annual pace since 2009 in the first quarter of this year.

The economy expanded 4.7% from January to March from a year ago - weaker than 5% in the fourth quarter of last year.

The figure also missed market expectations of growth of about 4.95% for the quarter.

Indonesia's growth was hurt by a slowing demand for exports and falling oil prices, the government said.

Glenn Maguire, Asia chief economist for ANZ, said the data confirms the view that the Indonesian economy is struggling to find a "base".

"Indeed, it appears that the government will be attempting to rely on fiscal policy - bringing forward infrastructure spending to stabilise growth," he told Reuters.

Slowing growth

The country's full year growth in 2014 was the slowest in five years.

Indonesia has also been struggling to bring down a large current account deficit, which happens when a country imports more than it exports.

A move to cut oil subsidies has also been challenged by weak commodity prices that have hit exports.

Markets, meanwhile, reacted negatively to the growth figures.

Indonesia's benchmark Jakarta stock index reversed early gains of as much as 1.2% before the announcement to fall 0.1%.

The rupiah, which is the worst performing emerging market currency in Asia this year, fell to 13,030 against the US dollar - its weakest since 1 April.

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