By Aynur Jafarova
Turkmenistan is the leader in the list of top 5 countries in the world for fastest growth in annual disposable income in 2014.
This was noted in an analytical report prepared by Euromonitor International and released on October 28.
"We expect Turkmenistan to lead the world with the fastest annual growth in real disposable income in 2014, both on a total basis (at 14.7 percent year-on-year) and on a per household basis (at 12.8 percent year-on-year)," the report said.
The main factor behind Turkmenistan's leadership in the world for fastest disposable income growth is robust economic growth driven by high public investment, strong performance in all production sectors and rising gas exports to China.
"In 2014, per household annual disposable income in Turkmenistan is forecast to reach $24,135 (in constant terms, fixed exchange rate), and on the back of an expanding middle class the Turkmen consumer market will present business opportunities across all sectors," the report said.
The experts of Euromonitor International predict that communications will be the fastest-growing consumer expenditure category in Turkmenistan.
"Communications will be the fastest growing consumer expenditure category (with forecast real growth rate of 18 percent year-on-year in 2014), driven by the expansion of mobile communications and broadband Internet connections," the report noted.
Another Central Asian country -- Kazakhstan -- is in the fourth place for fastest growth in annual disposable income in 2014.
"In 2014, per capita annual disposable income in Kazakhstan is expected to reach $26,350 (in 2013 prices), up from $24,480 in the previous year. The world's fourth fastest growth rate in annual disposable income (on both total and per household basis) coupled with Asia Pacific's highest level of income equality has given Kazakhstan a large and expanding middle class, which forms an important base for the consumer market. Middle-class spending will make communications and hotels and catering the most dynamic consumer expenditure categories in the country in 2014, and also in the long term through to 2030," the report said.
The experts of Euromonitor International believe due to its close trade and financial links to Moscow, Kazakhstan is particularly vulnerable to any potential slowdown or deterioration in the Russian economy, with negative knock-on implications to income growth and consumer market prospects.
Besides the energy-rich Central Asian countries, the list of top 5 countries with fastest growth in annual disposable income in 2014 includes Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and China.