INDONESIA. Indonesia’s economy has fallen into recession for the first time in more than two decades as the country continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic. The country had to deal with a similar kind of situation in 1997 during the Asian financial crisis. Southeast Asia’s largest economy contracted at a 3.49% annual pace in July-September, the second consecutive quarterly contraction.
The economy shrank at a 5.32% pace and grew 2.9% in January-March. Meanwhile, Indonesia has reported nearly 4,22,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the largest in Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, authorities have suspended all flights and train services in Indonesia. Much of the region is in recession, with air travel nearly paralyzed due to border controls and other restrictions. In Jakarta, the logistics and hospitality sectors also fell drastically as people decided to stay at home for their safety.
Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo’s administration has sought to prop up the economy by easing taxes and spending more on social support and public health.
The Indonesian government approved a relief package worth 677.2 trillion rupiahs ($47.9 billion) in June to revive the virus-battered economy. But, slow disbursement and outbreak of the COVID-19 virus are hindering a recovery.
Indonesia has reported more than 14,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday.