JAKARTA, INDONESIA (BNO NEWS) -- The Indonesian economy grew by 6.3 percent year-on-year during the first quarter of 2012, missing a previous estimate by Bank Indonesia (BI) which predicted 6.5 percent growth, according to official figures released on Monday.
Indonesia's National Statistics Center (BPS) said the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 1.4 percent compared to the previous quarter - the fourth quarter of 2011 - while its year-on-year growth reached 6.32 percent when compared to the first quarter last year.
The report also revealed that GDP reached 1.9 quadrillion Indonesian rupiahs ($207.1 billion) during the first quarter of 2012. The highest growth was seen in the country's agricultural, animal husbandry, forestry, and fisheries sectors which reached 20.9 percent.
Most of Indonesia's economic activity was seen on the islands of Java and Sumatra, where their GDP contribution reached 57.5 and 23.6 percent, respectively. Other islands with important economic growth were Kalimantan (9.8 percent), Sulawesi (4.5 percent), as well as Bali and Nusa Tenggara (2.4 percent).
Indonesia's BPS also reported that the country's labor conditions have improved, as February's work force increased by roughly 3 million people in five months, compared to August 2011. However, on a yearly basis, the growth amounted to only around 1 million, compared to February 2011.
Nonetheless, the country's statistics agency said the jobless rate fell to 6.32 percent in February, a 0.48 percent decrease when compared to the previous year. Unemployment numbers dropped by approximately 90,000 in the month of February, BPS reported.
In early March, Bank Indonesia (BI) said it expected economic growth would reach 6.5 percent in the first quarter of 2012. "Economic growth in the first quarter of 2012 is predicted at 6.5 percent and economic expansion will continue in the second quarter of 2012, although lower than the growth in the first quarter," said Difi A. Johansyah, BI Head of Bureau, at the time.
Johansyah noted that the Southeast Asian country's economic growth has been strongly supported by domestic demand, particularly private consumption and investment. Despite the weakening global economy, he added, Indonesia's economic growth in the first and second quarter continues to be in line with the 2012 economic growth forecast of 6.3 to 6.7 percent.
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