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Indonesia Expands At Slowest Pace In 3 Years

Indonesia's economy grew at the slowest pace in three years in the fourth quarter of 2019, data from the statistics bureau showed Wednesday.

Gross domestic product expanded 4.97 percent on a yearly basis in the fourth quarter, the weakest since late 2016. Economists had forecast 5.04 percent growth compared to 5.02 percent expansion in the third quarter.

On a quarterly basis, GDP was down 1.74 percent, reversing a 3.06 percent rise in the third quarter.

In 2019, GDP grew 5.02 percent, which was below the government's target of 5.3 percent. The economy had expanded 5.17 percent in 2018. The government forecast 5.3 percent expansion for this year.

The expenditure-side breakdown of GDP showed that household consumption advanced 4.97 percent and government spending rose only 0.48 percent in the fourth quarter.

Investment grew at a slower pace of 4.06 percent. Meanwhile, imports declined 8.05 percent and exports were down 0.39 percent.

With price pressures benign and growth momentum fading in the light of the coronavirus, Bank Indonesia is likely to be called into action once more to jump-start the economy with additional policy easing, Nicholas Mapa, an ING economist said.

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