Survey reveals widespread pessimism on economy

30-Jun-2020 Intellasia | JakartaPost | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The share of Indonesians who say the economy has worsened over the past year has reached a record high.

Public opinion pollster Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting (SMRC) found that 92 percent of the respondents surveyed from May 12 to 16 believe Indonesia’s economy is worse than in 2019. That number reflects the highest negative sentiment since the survey began in 2003, or five years into Reform Era.

The highest previous spike of such sentiment was 58 percent in mid-2008, when the global financial crisis unfolded.

But the share of respondents with that bleak view slightly declined to 85 percent in the latest survey from June 18-20.

“We can say that Indonesians’ optimism is now in its worst shape,” Ade Armando, the director of communication at SMRC, said in a virtual briefing on Thursday. “Now that it has reached 85 percent, there is a sign of more optimism in June.”

The survey comes at a time when countries around the world are trying to re-emerge from lockdown as the pandemic prompted international institutions to keep revising down forecasts for growth globally, including in Indonesia.

In its June forecast released earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected a 0.3 percent contraction of Indonesia’s economy this year. The fund also slashed the country’s growth forecast by 2.1 percentage points to 6.1 percent next year.

With millions of job losses, the pandemic has slowed the country’s growth to 2.97 percent year-on-year in the first quarter, the lowest since 2001, as people lost their income and did not spend as much.

SMRC described a similar picture. Only 34 percent of the respondents said Indonesia’s economy would be in better shape next year.

However, that marks a slight increase in the share of respondents with an optimistic outlook from 27 percent during the record-low in May, as some provinces and cities started easing restrictions and reopening businesses.


Category: Indonesia

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