GENERAL ECONOMIC SITUATION

In January to April 2006 the GDP grew 39.5% in Azerbaijan as compared to 2005 and cornprised 4477.9m manats at current prices. The growth pace turned out 25.3% more than last year.

Growth pace of industrial production went up in this period and attained 45.5% and comprised 3788m manats. The growth was possible at the expense of commencement of the bulk oil production from the Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli fields. The highest growth pace was fixed in the history of industrial development in the country. The oil production grew 57.5%, while oil refinery 14.6%. Rise in industrial production was observed in connection with an increase of output of the chemical industry (rise by 45.3%), furniture production (twice), foodstuff production (3%), transport facilities and equipment (3.8%), etc.

The growth of production in the agrarian sector dropped 2.2% in 2006 against 4.9% in 2005.

The investments put in major capital rose inconsiderably. A total of 1668.2m AZN was invested in economy, which is 11.3% up as compared to 2005 when it was 1.4%. The major reason for rise in investments is growth in demand by the construction of industrial facilities in this sector, where 88.2% of all investments was spent.

Thus, growth pace of consumer demand rose. The turnover of retail good turnover rose 11.7%, while the community services grew 28.4%. The growth pace of commercial services increased 30.1%, while in the commercial services and retail goods turnover fell and comprised 34.9% and 12.1% respectively.

Value Added Price

In bn manats

Special weight, in %

Real rise, in %

GDP in total

4477,9

100,0

139,5

production of goods

3030,2

67,8

158,7

including

- industry

2553,1

57

174

- agriculture

76,4

1,7

102,2

- construction

364,8

8,9

105,2

Production of services

1118,2

7,1

9,1

Including:

- transport

276,3

6,2

115

- communications

88

2

123,7

- trade and repair

224,2

5

112

- hotels and restaurants

32,3

0,7

124,7

- social and different services

403

9

100,1

Net taxes on products

329,5

7,4

107,7

Defliator

99,0

Sources: State Statistics Committee, calculations by Trend

Major part of demand was satisfied at the expense of export, which grew by 72.86% and comprised $1386712,400. The volume of import made up $1258302,900, or 12.73% down as compared to last year. The foreign trade ended in balance with $128409,500 in red.

Major reason for cut in import operations was drop in the amount of import of equipment, technical rigs and spare parts for them, goods of made of ferrous metal, furniture, sugar and meat products.

Growth pace of consumer prices fell and made up 0.7% in April, whereas in March it was 1.3%. Cut in the pace of inflation was conditioned with fall in prices of foodstuff by 1.1% against 1.9% in March.

Over the first 4 months of 2006 the consumer prices of goods and tariffs of services grew 5.4% as compared to previous year. In this period the growth pace of prices of the foodstuff was 6.4%, while non-food goods 4.6% and tariffs of services 3.3%.

As of January to April 2006 community incomes grew 18.9% and made up 3249.1m manats. As compared to 2005 the growth pace of net incomes was 0.7%.

Savings of physical entities continued rising. As of 1 April 2006, the amount of savings summed up 545m manats and exceeded the similar figure of last year by 29.9%. The growth pace of deposits turned out 18.9% less than in 2005 (48.8%).

In March manat grew 0.7%, while in March it rose 0.3% and attained 0,9109 manats per US dollar. Major reason for strengthening of manat is the aspiration of the authorities cause additional inflation at the expense of fulfilling the gold and currency reserves. Drop in rates started in February 2005, which was linked with the sharp increase in the growth pace of inflation in the first quarter (in March it beat record at 15.2%, while over the first quarter 13.1%) .

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