Indonesians are thinking twice before buying a car, a motorbike or even a pack of instant noodles. That's bad news for the country's huge consumer companies, and a dampener on an economy counting on household spending as other engines of growth sputter.
Indonesia's 10 biggest listed consumer companies reported first-quarter sales averaging 12.7 trillion rupiah ($974 million), the lowest since January-to-March last year, according to Thomson Reuters data. The country's biggest car distributor PT Astra International Tbk was among the worst hit, with a 9 percent slide in revenue from a year earlier.
A fuel price hike in November and a weakening rupiah have eroded purchasing power in the country of 250 million people, said Adrianus Bias Prasuryo, senior analyst at Ciptadana Securities.