Indonesia's economic growth slows to still robust 6 per cent in the first quarter

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesia’s economic growth slowed to a still robust 6 per cent in the first quarter of the year as business investment weakened and mining output decreased.

Statistics Indonesia said Monday that the growth rate was down from 6.1 per cent in the final quarter of 2012.

Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest economy with annual gross domestic product of almost $1 trillion.

Analysts at Barclays said in a commentary that consumer spending was the main pillar of growth but it increased at a slower rate due to erosion of disposable income from higher inflation.

Growth in investment was the lowest in 13 quarters, Barclays said, reflecting higher costs of importing equipment as the rupee weakens.

The statistics agency said economic activity in the mining and quarrying industry was down 0.4 per cent from a year earlier in the first quarter while transport and communications increased 10 per cent.

Compared with the fourth quarter of 2012, Indonesia’s economy grew 1.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year, boosted by the rice harvesting season.