Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr. U. Ismaylova / Inflation levels in Azerbaijan will reach 20% in 2008, MP Vahid Ahmadov, a member of the Permanent Parliamentary Commission on Economic Policy, said.
There are several factors influencing inflation, including prices of oil and gas, which are expected to increase by the end off the year to $100 per barrel.
In 2006, the price per barrel of oil made up $50, in 2007 it increased to $70. No rise in price of energy and public utilities are expected at the beginning of 2008 as it was in 2007 however the country would not be able to avoid a rise in prices at the world market.
"The influence of the world prices of oil and gas in Azerbaijan is inevitable as Azerbaijan is an oil and gas producing country," the MP said.
Prices of public utilities and energy were increased by the decision of the Azerbaijan's Tariff Council. Such increases in prices have lead to the increase of inflation from 11.4% in 2006 to 16.6% at the beginning of 2007.
There is also a problem with monopoly in Azerbaijan. The Government takes certain measures to cancel out the influences of monopoly. However, there have not been any positive results yet in this direction.
The International Stock Exchange forecasts an increase of the GDP by 23.2% in Azerbaijan for 2008.
The International Stock Exchange also forecasts that inflation reaches 17 % in Azerbaijan for 2008.
The current payment balance of Azerbaijan is expected to be on 39.9% in 2008.