Indonesia's GDP growth seen edging up in Q1 on higher exports

Indonesia's economy is expected to have grown slightly faster in the first quarter of 2017.
Indonesia's economy is expected to have grown slightly faster in the first quarter of 2017.PHOTO: EPA

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia's economy is expected to have grown slightly faster in the first quarter of 2017, thanks to improved exports, a Reuters poll showed.

South-east Asia's largest economy was seen expanding 5 per cent in the January-March period on an annual basis, according to the median forecast of 18 analysts in the poll.

That would be just up from the fourth quarter's 4.94 per cent, which was a touch slower than the 5.01 per cent clocked in the prior quarter.

Indonesia's central bank has said growth in the first quarter may not be as strong as it had initially expected, while a senior official said recently the pace was probably similar to the fourth quarter.

Bank Indonesia (BI) said household consumption, the main growth engine, had probably weakened during January-March, but exports and investment had improved.

By value, exports were up more than 20 per cent in the first quarter compared to a year ago, data from the statistics bureau showed.

BI Governor Agus Martowardojo said growth will likely improve in the second quarter and will eventually reach 5.2 per cent for all of 2017, the midpoint of the bank's 5.0-5.4 per cent outlook.

For full-year 2017, a smaller pool of analysts forecast Indonesia's economy to grow 5.15 per cent. The Government's growth target for this year is 5.1 per cent.