BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 21. Elevated oil prices are expected to keep the current account surplus in Azerbaijan high for the rest of the year, Trend reports with reference to the latest outlook of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“The current account achieved a surplus equal to 22.4% of GDP in the first quarter of 2022 as oil prices rose further. Higher oil prices raised the merchandise trade surplus to $5.4 billion in the first quarter 2022 from $3.1 billion in the same period of 2021 as exports jumped by 8.1%. Imports grew by 14.5%, with high imports of food products. Elevated oil prices are expected to keep the current account surplus high for the rest of the year. Assets of the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan inched up by 0.5% in the first quarter of 2022 to $45.3 billion, equal to 83% of GDP. On these developments, this Update projects wider current account surpluses in 2022 and 2023,” reads the latest ADB report.
The Bank notes that higher oil prices encouraged the government to amend the fiscal budget in June to increase projected revenue by 8.9% and raise expenditure by 8.1%.
“These amendments will further stimulate the economy by raising salaries and public investment while remaining consistent with new fiscal rules limiting the non-oil deficit in the consolidated budget and the ratio of public debt to GDP. With higher oil earnings and stronger domestic demand, despite a possible decline in consumer confidence as continued inflation cuts real income, this Update raises the growth forecast for 2022 while maintaining a lower rate for 2023.”
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