Baku, Azerbaijan, June 9
By Azad Hasanli - Trend:
In 2015, the deficit of the state budget of Azerbaijan will amount to 6 percent of GDP, the head of IMF (International Monetary Fund) mission on Azerbaijan Raja Almarzoqi said, the fund reported June 9.
"A sharp and possibly sustained decline in GDP cannot be ruled out if oil prices fall further or the post-devaluation stress in the banking system is larger than anticipated," he said.
"Since late 2014, the Azerbaijani economy has been hit by the steep decline in oil prices, the strength of the US dollar, and the wave of currency depreciations in the region that led to a sizable devaluation of the manat in February," Almarzoqi said. "The devaluation has improved the government's balance sheet but raised financial vulnerability concerns."
The Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) reserves have broadly stabilized since mid-April, covering now a still comfortable 7 months of imports (external buffers including the oil fund amount to about 35 month of import cover), according to him.
A mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Raja Almarzoqi visited Baku during June 2-8, 2015.
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.
Edited by CN
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