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IMF forecasts Azerbaijan's GDP growth in 2014 at 4.5 pct

9 October 2014 15:07 (UTC+04:00)
IMF forecasts Azerbaijan's GDP growth in 2014 at 4.5 pct

By Aynur Jafarova

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts Azerbaijan's GDP growth at 4.5 percent in 2014 and 4.3 percent in 2015.

This was noted in a report on the prospects for development of world economy - World Economic Outlook - published on IMF's website on October 8.

According to the fund's previous forecast, released in June, the GDP growth of the country was predicted at 5 percent in 2014 and 4.6 percent in 2015.

The report also said in 2019 the economic growth in Azerbaijan is expected to reach 4.2 percent while the June report forecasted the country's GDP growth at 4.23 percent in 2019.

IMF experts believe the decline of economic growth in oil and gas exporting CIS countries in 2014-2015 is mainly due to the fact that high prices of energy carriers compensate only part of the impact of the decline in Russia's export.

"Given the geopolitical tension in the region, the sanctions against Russia and structural changes in the Ukraine, the CIS economy is facing serious problems," the report noted.

IMF analysts expect a decline of overall GDP growth rate in the CIS countries from 2.2 percent in 2013 to 0.8 percent this year, and this figure is expected to reach 1.6 percent in 2015.

Azerbaijan's Social-Economic Development Concept, developed by Economy and Industry Ministry, said the real GDP growth in the country will be equal to 5.2 percent. This figure is predicted to reach 59.4 billion manats in 2015.

The World Bank forecasts Azerbaijan's economic growth to stand at 5.2 percent in 2014, and 4.1 percent in 2015.

The Asian Development Bank predicts the rate of GDP growth will amount to 5 percent in 2014, and 4.8 percent in 2015.

IMF also forecasted that the growth of current account surplus of Azerbaijan will reach 10.4 percent of GDP by 2015.

The report said this figure stood at 17 percent of GDP in 2013, and the fund expects this figure to decline to 14.6 percent of GDP by the end of this year.

Also, it is expected that the current account surplus will decrease to 7.2 percent of GDP in 2019.

The Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) said earlier that the surplus of the current account totaled $6.4 billion in January-June 2014, decreasing by 4.5 percent compared to the same period of last year.

The surplus of current account of Azerbaijan's oil and gas sector amounted to $10.3 billion in the reporting period.

The total balance of payments surplus made up $4.4 billion, increasing 1.88 times compared to the same period of last year.

Touching on the inflation rate in Azerbaijan, the IMF report said this figure will stand at the level of 2.8 percent in 2014 and 3 percent in 2015.

In the fund's June report, the inflation was predicted to be at 3.5 percent 2014, and in 2015 - at the level of 4 percent.

In 2013, consumer prices in Azerbaijan rose by 2.4 percent, and the annual rate of inflation was 1.5 percent during the first 9 months of 2014.

IMF also estimates that inflation in Azerbaijan is expected to reach 4 percent in 2019.

The Azerbaijani government expects consumer price inflation to be 3.5 percent in 2014.

Consumer inflation in Azerbaijan will not exceed 1.6 percent till the end of 2014, according to forecasts of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

ADB forecasts inflation in Azerbaijan for 2014 and 2015 at 4 and 3.5 percent, respectively.

The official exchange rate on October 9 was 0.7843 AZN/USD.

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