Indonesia’s economic condition has improved in the second quarter of 2021, as indicated by the economic growth of 7.1 percent compared to the same period in 2020. However, this improvement is slower than in other countries.

The Minister of National Development Planning / the Head of Bappenas, Suharso Manoarfa, said that from the demand, Indonesia’s economic improvement is indicated by rising household consumption, investment, and exports. The increase in investment is driven by the production sector that starts to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the export and import grow by double-digit, in line with the improving global economic conditions. Government consumption is also likely to increase following the spending plans, such as accelerating vaccinations and supporting the business sector.

Concerning production, all sectors positively grow in the second quarter of 2021. The transportation sector grows by 25.10 percent and the accommodation sector by 21.58 percent. Manoarfa said that the relaxation of PPnBM provided by the government had boosted the growth of car sales.

The improvement also occurred in the labor sector. The number of people who do not work due to COVID-19 fell to 1.62 percent in February 2021. Previously, in August 2020, it was 2.56 percent.

Although these data show positive growth, Indonesia’s economic growth is slower than other countries. The economic growth of several countries, such as Spain, Mexico, and Italy, has even reached double digits.

“Many entrepreneurs stated that their income remains below the normal income before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Manoarfa at the 6th International Conference on Management in Emerging Markets (ICMEM) 2021, held by the School of Business and Management the Bandung Institute of Technology, Friday (13/8/2021).

The number of workers employed also remains less than before the pandemic. Companies are worried about the turnover of their business. The inability to pay bank loans is also a hot topic among entrepreneurs.

However, Manoarfa believed that the Covid-19 pandemic would bring changes for the better, like the “black death” period in Europe in 1334-1350. It improved workers’ rights and welfare. The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1919 has also accelerated the modernization of the health sector.

Manoarfa also believed that the COVID-19 pandemic would also trigger better changes to the health system later. Another change after the Covid-19 pandemic is that digitalization is rising sharply, and the environmental condition will also improve.

To survive during a pandemic, entrepreneurs need digital technology and improve their skills, such as emotional and social skills and technological skills.*