RI`s economic growth in 2006 down 0.1 percent

Jakarta (Antara News) - The Indonesian economy grew by 5.5 percent last year, down by 0.1 percent from a year earlier due to lower-than-expected investment, the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) said on Friday.

Investment grew by 2.9 percent last year against 10.8 percent in 2005 and 14.6 percent in 2004.

Economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2004 rose to 6.1 percent compared with a corresponding period in 2005 but contracted by 1.9 percent from a quarter earlier, BPS chief Rusman Heriawan said.

"Overall, investment in 2006 was far lower than in previous years. Investment which was originally expected to stimulate economic growth in 2006 remained stagnant," he said.

Investment rose to Rp800.1 trillion in 2006 from Rp657.6 trillion the year before, contributing only 0.7 percent of the 2006 economic growth, he said.

Investment in the construction sector rose by 8.9 percent, while investment in the machinery and equipment sector and investment in transport means fell by 25 percent and 42 percent respectively, he said.

Overall, the 2006 economic growth was driven by exports (4.1 percent), followed by household consumption (1.9 percent), government consumption, and investment growth (0.7 percent). Meanwhile, imports grew 2.8 percent to Rp870.1 trillion in 2006 from Rp816.4 trillion in 2005, he said.

"It is the first time for components other than household consumption to make the biggest contribution to economic growth," he said.

He said a spate of natural disasters such as earthquakes engulfing Yogyakarta and flash floods hitting South Sulawesi this year were partly to blame for the lower-than-projected economic growth in 2006.

All economic sectors recorded growth last year with the transportation and communication sector which grew by 13.7 percent taking the lead, he said.

But the main engine of 2006 economic growth was the processing industry which contributed 1.3 percent to economic growth. Last year, the processing industry`s growth registered a 4.6 percent increase from the figure a year earlier, he said.(*)
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