"Advertisement expenditures by the media in the September period declined like consumer products."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Chairman of the National Economic Committee (KEN) Chairul Tanjung has expressed pessimism over the country`s economic growth target of 6.4 percent.

"I think it is difficult to achieve the target of 6.4 percent. If we can achieve 6.3 percent it would already be very good for the present condition," Chairul said after attending coordination meeting on the preparation of hosting the APEC summit 2013 here on Thursday.

He said that there were factors that could cause the economic growth to be below the 6.4 percent, namely the weakening of the people`s consumption and the global economic crisis which had not yet fully recovered.

Chairul who is also of the Trans Corporation business group said that one of the indications of the slowing of consumption was the decline in the advertisement.

"Advertisement expenditures by the media in the September period declined like consumer products. The decline in the consumer products indicates that the people`s consumption is also declining," he said.

He said that at least business players had felt the decline in the consumption after the post-fasting month festivities, especially at the end of August and in September this year.

Chairul acknowledged that the last two quarters of the year, namely quarter III and quarter IV, always saw higher growth than that in the previous quarters. This is because the government`s expenditures tend to be increasing.

But the global crisis in a number European countries and the United States --which had not yet fully recovered-- had affected Indonesia`s economy, he said.

The KEN chairman said that the economic growth was the aggregate of the movement of all economic sectors so that when one sector fell it could be covered by the other one.

"The consumption sector is slowing down but the investment sector is still high, increasing beyond expectation. There were sectors which fell but others increased that built positive accumulations," he said.

However, Chief Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa did agree with Chairul saying that from the state budget aspect, the economic growth in the third quarter would be higher than that in the second quarter.

"No indication yet that investment would be declining. So, I am still convinced that the growth in the third quarter would not be far from that in the previous quarter, namely about 6.3 percent in quarter I, 6.4 percent in quarter two," he stressed.

Hatta Rajasa said earlier that Indonesia`s trade surplus of US$248.5 million would help the government achieve its economic growth target of 6.5 percent, set in the state budget, this year.

"With two strong economic generators, namely investment and trade surplus, I am convinced growth could be generated so that the target that has been set for this year would be achieved," Rajasa said after attending a hearing with the House Budgetary Agency at the House of Representatives (DPR) building on Monday.

He added that the government`s efforts to curb the flow of imports had shown significant results so that the current surplus should continue to be maintained. The government will also continue to encourage exports.

"Imports are declining sharply, with figures slightly more than 15 percent and it is the result of our efforts to curb them. We also keep watch on the investment flow so that it would not use too many import components. Usually, the decline in exports is followed by an increase in imports, but this time imports have adversely dropped. We should maintain this momentum," Rajasa said.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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