Azerbaijan’s Forecasts on Growth Rate of GDP beyond IMF’s Expectations

Azerbaijan, Baku, 31 May / corr Trend I.Khalilova / The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has confirmed in its World Economic Outlook 2008 the dependence of further increase of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on increase of oil production in the country, the report said.

Though at the end of 2007 the growth rate of GDP made up 23.4%, but it is expected at 18.6% in 2008, 15.6% in 2009, whist decrease to (-2.6%) by 2013. This economic fall is by 2013, and is predicted neither in any of the CIS countries nor in the Central and Eastern Europe.

The IMF report states that the surplus of current payment balance of Azerbaijan for 2007 made up 28.8% of the GDP amid 17.7% in 2006. This figure is expected to comprise 39.5% of the GDP in 2008, 39.2% in 2009, whereas drop to 0.9% of the GDP is expected by 2013 . Such drop is explained with the forecasts on cut in the growth rate of the GDP.

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Economic Development plans to reconsider the macroeconomic indices for 2008 and subsequent three years as a result of the first half-year. According to the initial calculations, the real growth rate of GDP is expected at 20% (amid the total amount of AZN 32.7bln) in 2008 as compared to 18.2% (AZN 31.469bln) confirmed. Rise is expected mainly due to non-oil sector as of 2007. Last year, the increase of the non-oil GDP was expected at 8%, whilst in accordance with the actual indicators it comprised 11.3%, necessitating corrections in forecasts for 2008.

In accordance with the reconsidered forecasts of the Ministry, the real growth of the GDP in the non-oil sector is expected at 11.6% projected earlier. The Government makes its calculations based on the oil prices comprising $70 per barrel.

Though the Azerbaijani light oil is sold at world markets at the price exceeding $100, the Ministry of Economic Development adhere the conservative policy. Due to difference in price, the total GDP in oil sector is likely to exceed the figure offered at new forecast of macroeconomic parameters.

As of 2008, the GDP of Azerbaijan is expected to reach AZN 23.6bln, if the oil process is maintained at its current level. Although, initially it was predicted at AZN 18.6bln.

In 2009, the GDP is expected at 18%, and as of initial forecasts of the Ministry of Economic Development will constitute AZN 39.7bln.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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