Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 12
By Sara Israfilbayova – Trend:
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has improved the GDP forecast of the Central Asia region for 2019 from 4.2 to 4.3 percent due to an increase in public investment and production at the Shah Deniz gas condensate field in Azerbaijan (ADB lists Azerbaijan in Central Asia), Trend reports citing the Asian Development Outlook Supplement.
At the same time, the bank lowered inflation growth forecast for 2018 in Central Asia from 8.4 to 8 percent due to the improvement in inflation forecast in Azerbaijan.
For 2019, the bank’s inflation forecast is 7.8 percent.
As for other countries, ADB raised the inflation forecast in Armenia for both 2018 and 2019, because inflation in that country in the first 10 months of 2018 was higher than a year earlier, as well as due to the expectations of increased excise and customs duties.
In Georgia, inflation may increase due to the continued depreciation of the currency.
Azerbaijan’s economy has recently been showing steady growth. International rating agencies Fitch Ratings, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s note positive changes in the country’s economy.
In particular, S&P predicts the average GDP growth of Azerbaijan at 3 percent until 2022. At the same time, unemployment rate will remain at about 5 percent. Moody’s raised its forecast for economic growth in Azerbaijan, and Fitch notes that the country will maintain broad political and social stability.
At the same time, thanks to the ongoing reforms in the country, in the latest WB Doing Business 2019 report, Azerbaijan improved its position, taking 25th place among 190 countries.