Economic sector to show growth in first quarter: minister

If health protocols are maintained, the impact of the pandemic on the economic sector should not be too severe, as previously seen in the first quarter of 2021.

Jakarta (ANTARA) – Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said she is optimistic that the Indonesian economy will post higher growth in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the year-ago period despite increase in Omicron infections.

“We are quite optimistic that our economy in the first quarter of 2022 will not be strongly affected by the increase (in the cases of Omicron),” she said at a press conference organized by the Financial System Stability Committee (KSSK) here on Wednesday.

Previously, when the number of cases increased after the Christmas 2020 and New Year 2021 holidays, the government imposed large-scale social restrictions (PSBB), which caused the Indonesian economy to shrink by 0.7 %, she noted.

However, during the 2021 Christmas and 2022 New Year holidays, the government introduced lighter community activity restrictions (PPKM) to prevent the entry of the Omicron variant, which still allowed people to run their business , she observed.

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In addition, the government has accelerated the vaccination program by starting child vaccinations and booster shots, which are expected to boost national herd immunity, the minister said.

However, the public must continue to apply strict health protocols because if the transmission of the virus is curbed, economic activities may continue to operate, even if businesses may be slightly weakened, she added.

“If the health protocols are maintained, the impact of the pandemic on the economic sector should not be too severe, as we have seen previously in the first quarter of 2021”, underlined the minister.

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Additionally, she said Indonesia will continue to learn from other countries that experienced the first wave of Omicron cases in the fourth quarter of 2021 regarding the impact and management of the variant.

“We hope that in the first quarter of 2022, our national economy will become stronger and stronger, so that we can achieve the target of economic growth above 5%, in accordance with the objective of the budget law of the State (APBN),” Indrawati added.

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