Bank Indonesia (BI) has lowered its prediction of the country’s economic growth in 2014, from its initial 5.5-5.9 percent to 5.1-5.5 percent, as its goods and service exports have dropped.

Speaking at a press conference in Jakarta after the bank’s meeting on May 8, IB Governor Agus Martowardojo said the poor export performance was behind the revision to the growth forecast.

He noted that the bank had initially predicted that real exports will grow 8.1- 8.5 percent, but in reality the growth of real exports in the first quarter of this year was up to 1.9 percent lower.

Indonesia's economy in the first quarter slowed due to contraction of real exports. The country's economy subsequently grew only 5.21 percent in the first quarter of this year.

The reason given for this was a decline in mining exports, such as coal and mineral concentrate, due to weak demand, especially from China, falling prices and the temporary impact of the ban on raw mineral exports, Agus said.

Indonesia’s foreign currency reserves in April increased by 3 billion USD to 105.6 billion USD. It is enough to cover its demand of importing and paying debts within 5.9 months.

Deputy Governor of the central bank Perry Warjio said it also decided to maintain its interest rate at 7.5 percent to ensure a balance between the country’s two goals of promoting economic growth and curbing inflation.-VNA