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Indonesia falls into recession for first time in two decades

GDP contracts 3.49% in Q3 as region's largest economy fought COVID ills

People shop at a traditional market amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Jakarta on Aug. 20.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Indonesia fell into recession for the first time in two decades, as the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on Southeast Asia's largest economy.

The country's real gross domestic product plunged 3.49% in the three months ended September from a year earlier, according to data released on Thursday. The slowdown follows a 5.32% contraction in the previous quarter, plunging the archipelago into a recession -- defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

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