ArmInfo. The latest data of the Armenian National Statistics Service have surprised Gagik Makaryan, the chairman of the Union of Employers of Armenia. "I cannot understand how the economic activity growth slowed down to 0.4% in Jan-Oct 2015 from 3.5% in Jan-Oct 2015. The only suggestion - given that no one announced any changes in the methodology of calculations - is that so far the figures published by the Service have been exaggerated," Makaryan said at today's press conference.
He thinks today the country no longer has the team that "draws figures". As a result, the public was shown the real picture of the current condition of economy. It turns out that so far various state structures have been insincere and have concealed the real situation.
Makaryan thinks that in October the newly appointed Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan was aware of these figures. On October 15, Karapetyan said that the real condition of the economy was "extremely grave". "Probably, Hrant Bagratyan (ex-prime minister of Armenia and currently a lawmaker - editor's note) was right to stress the need to hold the head of the National Statistics Service accountable because of his artistic endeavor, which had nothing to do with the real state of affairs in the economy," Makaryan said.
At the same time, the expert thinks it is not too late to improve the situation. He stressed the need to take measures against corruption. "The biggest evil for Armenia's economy is still corruption that generates "shadow economy", he said, adding that today the "shadow economy" makes up 30-50% of GDP, i.e. an average of 5 bln USD per annum. So, the budget fails to receive approximately $1-1.2 bln, he noted.
Makaryan said that the relevant state structures work ineffectively. The Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development and Ministry of Agriculture should join efforts and forecast growth in certain sectors of economy.
He also urged the National Assembly to react to the indicators published by the National Statistics Service.
To note, the economic activity growth in Armenia slowed down to 0.4% in Jan-Oct 2016 from 3.5% in Jan- Oct 2015, with services and industry remaining the key drivers. In Jan-Oct 2014, the economic activity growth was much higher - 4.2%. By the preliminary data of the National Statistics Service, in October 2016 economic activity dropped by 18.7% (down 7.8% versus Oct 2015).