By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
Azerbaijan’s GDP grew by 2.5 percent in the first three quarters of 2019 compared to the previous year, the World Bank has stated in its November report.
The World Bank’s report also highlighted an increase in non-hydrocarbon sector of economy, which rose by 3.5 percent. Hydrocarbon sector, however, stagnated in the reported period and stood on 1.1 percent compared to 2018.
Agriculture performed particularly well in September, bringing the year-to-date growth rate to 7.1 percent.
The output in construction sector in the nine months of 2019 decreased compared to 2018, although this sector improved its indicators in September, according to the report.
The growth rate in ICT services softened in September but remained robust. Services, including those in trade, continued to grow moderately.
Regardless its low growth rates during 2019, investment in non-oil and gas sector raised in September.
“Consumption was bolstered by 6.5 percent growth in real wages, particularly in the public sector, and employment growth,” WB estimated.
Total volume of exports rose by 4 percent in the nine months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.
“The budget balance remained positive in September, bringing the surplus to 0.3 percent of GDP in the three quarters of 2019. Budget revenues were flat in September compared to appropriate month of 2018 and up by 4.8 percent in the nine months of the year in comparison with the relevant period of the previous year, boosted by non-oil/gas sector revenues, particularly VAT (value-added tax),” WB reported.
2020 budget pay out was reconsidered up by 3 percent, in line with the inflation forecast for 2020, with the additional cost envisaged to public investment.
“Banking sector profits have recovered somewhat so far in 2019, but remain modest, while overdue loans declined to around 10 percent of total loans,” WB stressed.
In the end of the report, WB especially appreciated progressive trend in Azerbaijan’s economy, emphasizing four main directions, which examined WB Doing Business report: registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors and enforcing contracts. On a basis of mentioned other positive factors Azerbaijan secured 34th place among 190 countries in 2020, considering one of the top-20 improvers in the world.
It should be noted that Azerbaijan’s GDP was $46.9 billion in 2018 versus $48 billion in January-September 2019.
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