JAKARTA, May 1, 2021, ANTARA. Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is optimistic that the economic growth target of 4.5-5.5 percent for 2021 would be achieved, as several parameters for economic recovery have yielded positive results, ANTARA reported.
The president conveyed the statement while giving directions virtually to all regional heads across Indonesia on Wednesday (April 28), as in the video uploaded via the Presidential Secretariat YouTube account in Jakarta on Thursday.
“Why are we optimistic? Because it seems that now, factories, industries, or manufacturers have moved. This is reflected in the purchasing manager index, which was at 51 before the pandemic, is now above normal before the pandemic, which is 53.2,” the president stated.
Similar conditions were observed in the level of electricity consumption for the industry, households, and government, as well as an increase in the imports of capital goods required to drive the industrial sector by up to 33.7 percent after earlier recording a negative value.
Similarly, the Consumer Confidence Index increased, from the previous 84.9 to currently 93, and the Retail Sales Index, which also rose this March.
“This means there is demand, shopping, and consumption. It can be seen in the Retail Sales Index,” he pointed out.
Hence, to maintain this positive momentum, Jokowi reminded regional heads to expedite regional budget spending, especially capital expenditures.
The president noted that as of the end of March, realized capital expenditures had only reached 5.3 percent. In fact, he noted that the circulation of money, generated through this capital expenditure, will greatly determine economic growth.
“Hence, the transfer from the center to the regions is not spent, but is put in the bank. This will cause the slowing of economic growth. At the end of March, I saw Rp182 trillion in regional banking. It was not spent immediately,” he remarked.
Jokowi noted that social assistance should also be distributed immediately to ease the burden on communities affected by the pandemic.
Public consumption through various forms of assistance will also encourage economic growth in regions, according to the president.
“I observed as of last April that only 32 percent had been distributed. It is still very small, only Rp1.5 trillion. I always follow figures like this. Hence, I remind you again because they are important for regional and national economic growth,” the president stated.