Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia posted a slower economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2016 and the country will have to struggle to get the rate above 5 percent this year, especially when the central bank is unlikely to be able to keep cutting interest rates to spur lending.

According to the data announced on February 6 by the Statistics Indonesia, Indonesia’s economy grew at 4.94 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, down from 5.01 percent of the previous quarter.

For the whole year, Indonesia gained an economic growth of 5.02 percent, faster than the 4.88-percent level of last year. This is the first time in six years Indonesia’s economic growth rate has been higher than the previous year.

A senior expert from Natixis, a corporate investment banking company, said Indonesia’s economy will grow 5.4 percent in 2017.

The median forecast of a Reuters poll conducted ahead of the data was for 2017 growth of 5.2 percent, while the government's target - which it calls conservative - is 5.1 percent.

The weak growth of its key trade partners, low foreign direct investment and poor infrastructure have been cited as reasons behind the Indonesian economy’s recent deceleration.-VNA