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Indonesia's Economy Continued to Shrink in the First Quarter

05/05/2021 | 12:49am

By Yi Wei Wong

Indonesia's economy contracted in the first quarter as it continued to be weighed by the Covid-19 pandemic though the pace of the fall eased from the quarter before.

Southeast Asia's largest economy contracted 0.74% compared with the same period the year earlier, the country's Central Statistics Agency said Wednesday. The result was slightly better than the median forecast for a 0.9% contraction from a Wall Street Journal poll of seven economists.

The economy shrank 2.19% in the fourth quarter of last year.

Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo last month said 2021's economic growth is expected to be between 4.1% and 5.1%.

The country's economic recovery was led by several sectors such as the information and communications industry, said Suhariyanto, the chairman of the statistics agency. However, sectors such as transportation, accommodation as well as food and beverage continued to shrink sharply during the quarter and may take a longer time to recover, he said.

Compared with the previous quarter, the economy contracted 0.96%.

The country has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and last year posted its first annual economic contraction in two decades. According to the health ministry, there have been over 1.6 million Covid-19 infections in the country.

Write to Yi Wei Wong at yiwei.wong@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-05-21 0048ET

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