These restrictions (on social behavior and on business activities) were imposed by the central and regional governments in the context of curtailing the further spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across Indonesia. What is certain, is that these restrictions have a frightful effect on the economy. We already saw this in the April 2020 edition when we mentioned that the economy of China shrank by a whopping 6.8 percent year-on-year (y/y) in Q1-2020. This contraction can be fully attributed to the self-imposed restrictions in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, for Indonesia, China’s Q1-2020 economic data give a glimpse into the future.

The difference between China and Indonesia is that China was the first epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak. The virus started spreading in China at the end of 2019 and subsequently peaked in Q1-2020. As a consequence, the restrictions (lockdowns in several parts of China) also peaked in Q1-2020. Indonesia, on the other hand, only reported its first two confirmed COVID-19 cases at the start of March 2020, and it would take until the second week of March 2020 before ‘non-essential travel’ was discouraged and social distancing was encouraged. But the real and big restrictions in Indonesia only started in April 2020 (which is part of Q2-2020).

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