The heavy toll exacted by COVID-19 must have been on the mind of President Joko Widodo as he unveiled Indonesia’s budget for 2022. Amidst the economic havoc, the 2022 budget is meant to accelerate economic recovery from the pandemic and strengthen structural reforms. Controlling COVID-19 will remain a key focus.
With this in mind, Jokowi has proposed slightly lower state spending next year. It still aims to restart the pandemic-hit economy while maintaining the goal of cutting Indonesia’s growing fiscal deficit.
ON SHAKY GROUND Though Indonesia’s economy grew for the first time in five quarters, it may only be a temporary blip. The country recorded a 7.07 percent year-on-year growth in the second quarter of 2021, but that is coming off of the lockdowns that blighted most of Indonesia’s growth in 2020. Compared to the first quarter of the year, Indonesia’s economy actually shrank 0.74 percent. The economy recorded a 2.1 percent contraction last year.
Speaking at a news conference, head of Indonesia’s statistics department, Margo Yuwono said that transportation, warehousing, accommodation, and the food and beverage sectors had the biggest growth as Indonesia enjoyed a respite from the pandemic from April to June. Nevertheless, Yuwono admitted that the Indonesian economy has yet to return to normal.
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