Jakarta — Bank Indonesia has projected that the economy will grow 5.1 percent in the first quarter of 2018. BI senior deputy governor Mirza Adityaswara said the figure aligned with the central bank’s 2018 growth projection of 5.1 to 5.5 percent. “If we compare to the last year’s growth it is still better,” he said in Jakarta on Tuesday (27/03). In the first quarter of 2017, the economy expanded 5.01 percent (year-on-year), while the whole- year growth was recorded at 5.07 percent. He said growth was mainly supported by three major activities: exports, households, consumption and investment. Furthermore, he expressed hope that growth in the second quarter would improve as, historically, second-quarter growth was faster. He also explained that the trade deficit was in the first two months of 2018 indicated growing economic activities because the import figure was higher than that of the export, particularly due to the increase in demand for industrial materials. According to Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data, Indonesia booked a US$116 million trade deficit in February, $760 million in January and $220 million in December 2017. In February alone, imports increased by 25.18 percent yoy to $14.21 billion, while exports increased by 11.76 percent yoy to $14.10 billion. “If the trade balance is negative, it indicates an increase in economic activities because investment needs materials,” Mirza added. This year, the economy is projected to grow 5.4 percent, as stated in the 2018 state budget.