Moreover, as domestic consumption accounts for around 55 percent of GDP growth, increased consumption by the middle class will safeguard continued economic growth. As such, these two factors - strong GDP growth and the expanding middle class - are two forces that reinforce each other and are highly dependent on each other as well.

In 2012, Indonesia's middle class numbered around 75 million people (out a total population of 240 million). Research firms the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and McKinsey both expect that the country’s middle class will expand to between 130 and 140 million people by the period 2020-2030.

Fabrice Carrasco, Acting Director of the Indonesia-Vietnam-Philippines Kantar Worldpanel, said that Indonesia is one of the few countries in the world of which GDP growth is mainly supported by domestic consumption. This is in contrast to most other countries, which are generally more dependent on exports or government spending.

A survey of the Kantar Worldpanel indicates that Indonesia's consumer force has five characteristics:

High interest in digital and technological products, particularly communication devices such as the newest smartphones
Brand loyalty; when an Indonesian consumer is happy with a certain brand, he/she is highly unlikely to switch to another brand that produces a similar product
Personality; an Indonesian consumer will buy products that are in accordance with his/her personality (for example clothes)
Health & skin care; health and skin care products are highly popular among the middle class consumers
Usefulness; Indonesian consumers tend to purchase those products that are really useful to them

Carrasco said that the higher prices of subsidized fuels (introduced in June 2013) and corresponding higher inflation have reduced Indonesians' purchasing power slightly. As a result, a segment of Indonesian consumers have shifted their focus to products of lesser known - and less expensive - brands.

Further Reading:

Indonesia’s Slowing Economic Growth: the Case of Private Consumption
Gross Domestic Product of Indonesia
Indonesian Population