Indonesian President Yudhoyono Defends Economic Record

(Corrects to say target is for per capita GDP in fourth paragraph.)

Indonesia has expanded the middle class and kept the budget deficit low, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said, in a favorable assessment of his record before 2014 elections as the country faces slowing growth.

Indonesia’s budget deficit has stayed under 3 percent of gross domestic product, unemployment and poverty rates have fallen and the country has achieved an investment grade rating, Yudhoyono said in an annual speech ahead of the country’s independence day.

Yudhoyono, set to hand over power in elections next year, is seeking to shore up his 10-year legacy of political and economic stability in the world’s fourth-most populous nation. Growth was 5.81 percent in the second quarter, the slowest since the third quarter of 2010.

Yudhoyono said he expects the country’s per capita GDP to approach $5,000 by the end of 2014, up from $3,592 in 2012. The country has maintained growth above 4 percent during his tenure as spending by the expanding middle class shielded Southeast Asia’s largest economy from the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

To contact the reporters on this story: Neil Chatterjee in Jakarta at nchatterjee1@bloomberg.net; Novrida Manurung in Jakarta at nmanurung@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at rmathieson3@bloomberg.net

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