AP News

Indonesia's growth falls below 6 percent

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's economy grew at its slowest pace in four years in 2013 because of a slump in commodity exports and a slowdown in consumer spending.

The Central Statistics Agency said Wednesday that Southeast Asia's largest economy grew 5.8 percent last year, the first time it has expanded less than 6 percent since 2009.

Indonesia's growth has been based on high international prices for its abundant natural commodities such as coal and palm oil and on the spending power of its newly minted middle class.

But consumer demand has slowed due to interest rate hikes aimed at reducing inflation and stabilizing the currency.

Economic protectionism ahead of elections this year and inconsistent policy making are also deterring investors.

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