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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   10  December 2010

Growth lies with young Indonesians

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With positive signs mounting in Indonesia's economy, research company Nielsen believes the country will become increasingly competitive in the next few years.

Catherine Eddy, managing director of Nielsen Indonesia, cited some of those signs on Thursday at an event in Jakarta.

Among them were increasing buying power, a per capita income expected to reach $3,000 and estimated economic growth of 6.2 percent next year.

Indonesian consumers have increasing levels of spending power, and much of the country's population consists of younger, working adults.

"Consumption is going to shift to secondary items," said Yongky Susilo, retail service director of Nielsen Indonesia.

While those less well-off would move toward middle-class status, he said, the current middle- and upper-class would spend more on gadgets, insurance, traveling and other secondary needs.

Yudi Suryanata, consumer research executive director for Nielsen, said younger urban couples were set to become "the future power of Indonesian consumers."

"They are professional, young couples living in urban cities," he said, describing them as married couples under 30 years of age with a combined monthly income of 20 million rupiah ($2,220) and living in an apartment.

Since such couples are highly educated, they are not easily influenced by marketing gimmicks and often seek recommendations from the Internet.

Nielsen backed up its assertions with data suggesting one-fifth of Indonesia's population is exposed to the Internet, the third-largest media after television and radio.

"They are not the earliest adopters, but they usually buy something quick once it has become a trend," Yudi said.

"Sometimes, a deficit means the government wants to boost economic growth in the long term."

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