EBRD downgrades GDP growth forecast for Uzbekistan

Business Materials 19 December 2017 09:55 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 19

By Nigar Guliyeva- Trend:

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has downgraded the forecast for economic growth in Uzbekistan in 2017 from 6.2 percent to 5.4 percent, reads the report entitled Regional Economic Prospects in EBRD Countries of Operation.

The increase will be moderately - 6.2 percent in 2018, according to the report.

The EBRD experts noted that growth was driven by strong performance in exports, increasing by 25.6 per cent year-on-year up to $1.72 bilion, as well as growth in the industrial, construction and services sectors. Furthermore, major steps were made to liberalise the foreign exchange regime, representing the most important economic reform for the country to date.

"Export growth will be supported by the improved economic relations with the neighbouring countries. Furthermore, the better economic prospects for Russia and Kazakhstan, the main destinations for Uzbek migrant workers, will support remittance inflows," the report reads, further pointing to significant forecast risk with regard to the headline figures, as statistical methods might significantly change during the reform process.

Overall the EBRD notes that growth in Central Asia showed signs of picking up again, averaging around 5 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2017.

"The acceleration reflects higher commodity prices (relative to the first half of 2016) and the improved economic outlook in Russia. Uzbekistan embarked on a programme of structural reform, including the unification of exchange rates," the report reads.