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Jakarta Post

RI middle class braces for the crisis

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, February 23 2009   /  02:24 pm

Indonesian middle class is busy tightening its collective belt to deal with the economic metldown. From invoice-sorting secretaries to guitar-strumming musicians, the country's burgeoning middle class is bracing the coming of the crisis. The financial doldrums that began in October last year have not left Indonesia unscathed, with the Jakarta's main bourse struggling to regain its feet and the rupiah sinking. Prices continue to rise and the unemployment rate is on a steady increase, but many experts and industry players agree the worst of the financial crunch has yet to be felt, forcing families to start cutting short their nonessential expenditures. "Our monthly budget of Rp 200,000 (US$18) for daily needs such as soap and shampoo can no longer sustain us," said Helda, a secretary at a foreign consumer goods company, whose husband works as an editor of a news website...