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Consumer perception of the country`s economy improving: BI

Jakarta  (NTARA Newsa) РSome 4,600 households perception of the current economic conditions is improving as was indicated by an increase in the current consumer income, job opportunities, and timely purchase of durable goods, according to Bank Indonesia (BI).

In a consumer survey publication, BI had announced on Monday night in Jakarta that the index of current economic conditions (IKE) at the end of January 2017 improved as compared to December 2016 and November 2016.

“The IKE is currently up 1.4 points to reach 104.2 points as compared to December 2016,” Executive Director of BIs Department of Communication Tirta Segara stated.

As part of a monthly consumer survey in January 2017, the central bank conducted a study of 4,600 households in 18 cities in Indonesia.

The increased consumer perception was driven by a rise in the current income index, which rose by 0.6 points to reach 118.5 points; the availability of employment, which rose 0.6 points to reach 88.8 points; and the timely purchase of durable goods, which was up 3.3 points to reach 105.4 points, BI noted.

BI has recorded that the increase in consumer perception of current economic conditions is the highest in Makassar at 25.5 points. It is followed by 23.4 points in Ambon. Based on the level of consumption, an increase in perception was observed among consumers, with a spending level of Rp2 to Rp3 million.

Nonetheless, consumer expectation for the next six months dropped as compared to that recorded in the December 2016 survey.

The decline in consumer expectation sparked a decrease in the consumer confidence index (CCI) in January 2017 by 0.1 points to reach 115.3 points as compared to 115.4 points recorded in December 2016.

“Despite the decline, the CCI, which amounted to 115.3 points, still indicates consumer optimism,” BI stated.

In the meantime, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani noted that the government had strengthened the domestic economy to anticipate uncertain global conditions in 2017.

“Based on the situation abroad, the government improves the domestic economy,” Mulyani stated.

One of the governments efforts was aimed at improving the investment performance in a bid to provide optimal contributions to the national economic growth.

“Utilizing the sources of economic growth, we will balance investment and consumption growth,” the minister stated.

He acknowledged that the investment performance in 2016 was slow. However, the government has continued to make all-out efforts to boost investment performance in the country, including the involvement of state-owned and private enterprises.

The National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) had earlier forecast that Indonesias economy would grow at 5.1-5.3 percent in 2017.

“Yes, for the economic growth in 2017, I have predicted a range of between 5.1 and 5.3 percent,” Minister of National Development Planning and Head of Bappenas Bambang Brodjonegoro stated during a discussion on the 2016 Year-End Final Evaluation and Outlook 2017 at the Bappenas office here on Saturday.

According to Brodjonegoro, the estimate is based on the assumption that the countrys economy will still be dominated by consumption.

Meanwhile, it is difficult to as yet ascertain the impact of the global economic turmoil on the national economy.

“We cannot as yet predict the impact of the global economic turmoil. One needs to understand that the global economy is not bright,” Brodjonegoro pointed out.

Nevertheless, the national economy was still able to grow by 5.1 percent in 2016.

He believed this trend indicated that Indonesias economy was still able to survive global economic upheavals. Hence, measures to ensure that the national economy can adapt to global change are important to boost growth.

“Even in the face of uncertain global conditions, we can grow 5.1 percent. It is nice. Hence, if we can predict and control the global conditions, it means that Indonesia can adapt to global change. This will be good for the economy of Indonesia,” he added.(*)