By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijan's strategic currency reserves (SCR) increased by 12.7 percent in January-November 2019, a source within the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) told local media on December 13.
"Since the beginning of 2019, the strategic currency reserves of Azerbaijan have grown by 12.7 percent and currently amount to $50.4 billion," the report reads.
The country’s strategic currency reserves amounted to $44.8 billion at the end of 2018.
CBA said that the favorable situation on the world oil markets and the growth of Azerbaijan’s non-oil exports allow maintaining a high level of the balance of payments surplus.
“The average price of oil on world markets for 11 months of 2019 amounted to $64.1 per barrel, although this is lower than in 2018 - $72 per barrel. Nevertheless, over the 11 months of this year, Azerbaijan increased exports by 2.3 percent including non-oil exports - by 17.5 percent,” the report reads.
According to the official statistics, real economic growth in January-October amounted to 2.1 percent compared to the same time span of 2018. The non-oil sector grew by 3.6 percent, mainly due to the trading sector. In the non-oil industry, growth was noted at 15.7 percent, and agriculture - at 7.3 percent.
Nominal personal incomes increased by 6.9 percent over the past 10 months compared to the same period of 2018.
Azerbaijan’s strategic currency reserves are formed from CBA reserves, assets of the State Oil Fund and treasury funds of the Ministry of Finance.
The country’s currency reserves reached a peak level of $53.7 billion as of October 1, 2014. In the fourth quarter of 2014, the process of reducing foreign exchange reserves began, which continued in 2015-2016 due to the fact that they were aimed at maintaining the exchange rate of the national currency. Since 2017, the growth of foreign exchange reserves has resumed.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz