Growth of Kazakhstan's economy amounted to three percent in the first quarter of this year. Growth was achieved amid restoration of consumer and production activity among the country’s key trade partners - the European Union, China and Russia, says the Kazakh national economy minister.  Manufacturing, construction, transport and trade sectors played key important roles in the economy. The International Monetary Fund forecasts the Kazakh economy to grow 2.5 percent in this year.

 

TIMUR SULEYMENOV, KAZAKH MINISTER OF NATIONAL ECONOMY:

- Exceeding 2.5% growth this year will be very difficult. Because we included the base one per cent last year. Objectively, there are no prerequisites for growth forecast revision either generally, or by industry. Based on the figures for the first half year, and internal and external trends, we will return to the forecast revision once again.

 

The estimate for 2018 GDP growth is 3.6%. In addition, experts of the International Monetary Fund have improved the forecast of oil prices to $55 per barrel.

 

GALYMZHAN PIRMATOV, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL BANK OF KAZAKHSTAN:

 - We are now at the beginning of the economic forecasting and hopefully by June we will publish the results of another forecasting round. And as I mentioned, our forecast shows 2.2 percent this year, 4.7 percent next year.

 

Experts point out another positive factor for the Kazakh economy - the weakening of inflationary pressures. This is due to the strengthening of the national currency and reduction of public spending. According to expert estimates, in order to maintain economic growth, the country needs to continue reforms.

 

JIHAD AZOUR, IMF MANAGING DIRECTOR FOR MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA:

- Other important factors are the banking system as well as infrastructure. Infrastructure is not mainly the spending on the infrastructure; it is how the infrastructure is productive for business environment to improve competitiveness. 

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