Indonesia’s retail sales plunge to lowest point since 2008 hinh anh 1A street in Jakarta on April 1 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) Indonesia’s retail sales index shrank by 20.6 percent in May, the biggest reduction since 2008, mostly due to plunging clothes sales and cultural and recreational spending, according to a survey by the Bank Indonesia (BI).

The contraction was deeper than the 16.9 percent recorded in April, following the introduction of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in April and May to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The central bank projected the drop to slow to 14.4 percent in June thanks to higher sales of food and beverage, as well as vehicle fuels, as the country gradually reopened its economy.

According to the survey, spending on clothes and recreational services in May fell by 74 percent and 53.7 percent on year, respectively.

The Indonesian government expects full-year growth to reach only 1 percent under a baseline scenario or to contract 0.4 percent under a worst-case scenario.

Indonesia recorded its lowest GDP growth in 19 years in the first quarter at 2.97 percent, with the COVID-19 outbreak pressuring people to stay at home, thereby disrupting economic activity.

The central bank projected the retail sales index in the second quarter to contract 17.3 percent annually, compared to the contraction of 1.9 percent in the first quarter./.