Indonesia's GDP expands 6.02 pct in Q1, below forecast

JAKARTA Mon May 6, 2013 12:16am EDT

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JAKARTA May 6 (Reuters) - Indonesia's gross domestic product expanded 6.02 percent in the first quarter of the year, its slowest in two years, the statistics bureau said on Monday.

The expansion in the January to March period was slower than the 6.11 percent registered in the previous quarter.

A Reuters poll of 11 analysts expected first quarter growth at 6.18 percent, and a 1.50 percent rise on a quarterly and seasonally-unadjusted basis. Seven analysts tipped the economy to grow at a relatively steady pace of 6.2 percent in the next quarter.

The outcome is below Bank Indonesia's target of around 6.2 percent growth in the first quarter. Acting finance minister Hatta Rajasa expected the economy to expand 6.5 percent this year.

On Thursday, Southeast Asia's biggest economy suffered a setback when ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded its outlook to stable from positive on concerns over stalling reform momentum.

KEY DATA:

y/y q/q (nsa)

Q1 2013 6.02 1.41

Q4 2012 6.1 -1.5

Q3 2012 6.2 3.2

Q2 2012 6.4 2.8

Q1 2012 6.3 1.4

Q4 2011 6.5 -1.3

Q3 2011 6.5 3.5

Q2 2011 6.5 2.9

Q1 2011 6.4 1.6

Q4 2010 6.9 -1.4

Q3 2010 5.8 3.5

Q2 2010 6.2 2.8

Q1 2010 5.7 1.9

FULL-YEAR GROWTH:

2012 6.2

2011 6.5

2010 6.2

* Some previous figures may change because of official revision

* Quarter-to-quarter figures are not seasonally adjusted

CONTEXT

- Indonesia's economy relies heavily on domestic demand which accounts for more than 50 percent of GDP.

- April inflation slowed to 5.57 percent, but was still above the top limit of Bank Indonesia's target at 3.5-5.5 percent this year. However, core inflation continued to ease to 4.12 percent.

- The HSBC Markit purchasing managers' index for April rose to 51.7 from 5.13, showing an expansion in manufacturing activity in line with rising output.

- Foreign direct investment grew at a slower pace in the first quarter at 27.2 percent, compared to 30.3 percent in the same period last year.

- March's auto sales grew at a slower pace of 9.1 percent on an annual basis from 19 percent the previous month. Sales of motorbike in March jumped 7.4 percent from a year ago after declining 2.5 percent in February.

- Indications are that with inflation, especially core consumer prices, at manageable levels and the economy showing steady growth Bank Indonesia is likely to keep its benchmark rate steady at 5.75 percent at its May 14 meeting. (Reporting by Andjarsari Paramadhita and Nilufar Rizki; Editing by Jonathan Thatcher and Shri Navaratnam)

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