Indonesia’s domestic cement consumption grew 6.9 per cent last month to 2.68Mt, as the construction and housing sectors picked up on the back of declining interest rates, industry data showed on Monday.
The March sales took total first quarter consumption to 7.68Mt, or 10.2 per cent higher than the year-ago period, data from the Indonesian Cement Association, provided by PT Semen Gresik Tbk , showed.
Including exports, sales jumped 13.8 per cent to 3.42Mt.
The pace of Indonesian cement consumption slowed down in February when it rose by only 3.5 per cent YoY due to widespread flooding in Jakarta and other parts of the country.
The head of the association, Urip Timuryono, told Reuters last month that he expected 2007 cement sales to rise more than five per cent, picking up from 1.8 per cent growth last year, if the government speeds up infrastructure projects.
Cement sales in 2006 totalled 32.1Mt.
Analysts expect cheaper credit to fuel the property and real estate sectors this year. Interest rates this year are expected to be sharply lower than levels seen in 2006.
The government is trying to push forward infrastructure projects, such as toll roads, railroads, ports and airports, to boost the economy and employment. But progress has been slow.