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IMF Predicts 7% GDP Growth

22 August 2011

www.dawn.com of 8/22/2011 - “The International Monetary Fund is predicting five per cent GDP growth in 2011 on average for Commonwealth of Independent States. However, nations specializing in exporting valuable commodities will have a significantly higher growth rate and predicts growth for Central Asia’s will be above the CIS average. Turkmenistan is expected to post a higher than average 9 percent growth in 2011 on the strength of its gas exports. The IMF predicts 6.4 percent Turkmen GDP growth in 2012. Uzbekistan, based on the strength of projected cotton and gold exports, will record GDP growth of seven per cent for both 2011 and 2012.

Uzbekistan is among the region’s most rapidly expanding economies as a result of broad industrial expansion. The Uzbek GDP is expected to grow by 8.5 per cent in 2011 with similar expansion in 2012. This comes on the heels of a strong economic performance in 2010. Uzbek construction grew 8.1 in 2010, due primarily to increased government development of rural infrastructure and housing. Foreign investment in hydrocarbons also increased significantly with overall foreign investment accounting for 25.1 per cent of the GDP.

High global cotton, gold and gas prices also buoyed the Uzbek economy in 2010, resulting in a 10.8 per cent growth in goods and services exports. Uzbekistan is also growing less dependent on imports of goods, services and machinery. Imports of machinery dropped 27.3, while imported goods and services fell by 6.8 per cent in 2010. The ADB predicts that global cotton and gold will peak in 2011. While their prices are expected to remain high, negative effects on the Uzbek economy are not expected. The main economic challenge facing Uzbekistan in the next year is mitigating the effects of globally rising food prices.

Uzbekistan’s economy appears to have been unaffected by the crisis, with an official growth rate above eight per cent in 2009 and 2010, driven mostly by favourable external conditions and expansionary fiscal policies. However, GDP growth slowed down somewhat to 7.6 during 2011 Q1. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) decreased its forecast on the economic growth of Uzbekistan in 2011 and 2012. According to the EBRD, the GDP of Uzbekistan will grow by seven per cent in 2011 and 7.5 in 2012. Inflation rate in Uzbekistan will make up 11 per cent in 2011 against 9.4 in 2010.

Current account balance surplus grew from 6.7 to GDP in 2010 to 10 per cent to GDP in 2011. Net foreign direct investments will make up 3.2 to GDP in 2011 against 4.2 per cent to GDP in 2010.

According to the UN latest report, Uzbekistan will, however, record one of the highest economic growth rates in the Commonwealth of Impendent States (CIS) in 2011 and 2012. In line with the forecast of the UN experts, Uzbekistan’s economy will rise by eight per cent in 2012, the second highest GDP growth among the CIS states. Turkmenistan will claim the first place with 10% GDP growth in 2011 and 2012. According to estimates of the UN, the real GDP growth of Uzbekistan in 2010 reached 8%. The Government of Uzbekistan forecasts that the economy of the country will grow by 8.3 in 2011. The GDP of Uzbekistan increased by 8.5 per cent in 2010.

According to the IMF forecast, inflation in Uzbekistan will comprise 11.6 in 2011 and it will grow to 12.3 per cent in 2012.

Current account balance surplus will make up 10 per cent to GDP of Uzbekistan in 2011 and then expected to decrease to 6.7 in 2012. The IMF expects that unemployment level in Uzbekistan will be at the 0.2 per cent level in 2011 and 2012, which is the lowest figure among the CIS states. ADB said that current trade balance surplus will be at the level of 16.3 to GDP in 2011 and 12.6 per cent in 2012….”