IMF improves economic growth outlook in Azerbaijan
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 8
By Azad Hasanli - Trend:
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has improved the economic growth outlook in Azerbaijan for 2015, the head of IMF mission on Azerbaijan Raja Almarzoqi said at the press conference June 8.
Thus, the IMF expects a 1.8 percent GDP growth in Azerbaijan.
In its April forecast, the IMF expected a 0.6 percent economic growth in the country for 2015.
Almarzoqi said that the change of the forecast is due to the economic growth achieved by Azerbaijan in January-April 2015.
"After the devaluation, we forecasted a 0.6 percent GDP growth, but during our visit to the country we saw that the non-oil sector grew by 6.5 percent in January-April 2015," he said. "At the same time, we realized that the economic growth would be higher than expected."
Almarzoqi said that by late 2015, the growth of non-oil sector in Azerbaijan is forecasted at 3.5 percent.
"We expect that the volume of Azerbaijan's GDP will amount to about 68 billion Azerbaijani manats by late 2015," said the head of mission. "In addition, we forecast a 2.8 percent GDP growth for 2016, while the non-oil sector growth is 4.5 percent."
He said that despite the fact that the IMF predicted a double-digit inflation in Azerbaijan for 2015, the fund currently expects a 8.5 percent consumer price index growth and a 6.6 percent growth for 2016.
Almarzoqi went on to add that precautionary measures taken by the government of Azerbaijan affected the inflation outlook decline.
The IMF office was opened in Baku in 1992. Despite its staff being reduced since 1999, it remains an important partner of the Azerbaijani government. It should be stressed that cooperation with the IMF played an important role in the global economic and financial crisis.
The IMF has provided long-term loans to Azerbaijan in the amount of $577.3 million in 1995-2005 in order to support the program of economic reforms.
Since 2005, Azerbaijan has had no need to access funds of the fund.
Since 2006, the IMF and Azerbaijan have been cooperating within the framework of consultations and technical assistance missions in key areas of macroeconomic policy.
During 2014, four of the IMF missions visited Azerbaijan and presented their recommendations to the state bodies of the country. These recommendations addressed such areas as public debt management, budget classification, the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, reforms in the pension system as well as Article IV of the Agreement on the IMF.
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