Monday, January 30 2017 20:10
Alina Hovhannisyan

Bagrat Asatryan: One should expect significant changes in Armenian economy only in case of 2.5%-3% economic growth in Russia

Bagrat Asatryan: One should expect significant changes in Armenian economy only in case of 2.5%-3% economic growth in Russia

ArmInfo. IMF and WB forecast 1.5% growth of Russian economy in 2017, however this will not have significant impact on the Armenian economy, Economist, former Head of CBA, Associate Professor of Yerevan State University Bagrat Asatryan stated at the press conference on January 30. He noted that for normal economic development of Armenia Russia's economic growth should exceed 2.5-3%.

At the same time summing up the results of 2016 Asatryan stated that annual figures of GDP will not exceed 1% (according to preliminary statistical data economic activity has grown only by 0.5%-ed.note) which is the result of the authorities' work. "There are certain positive trends registered last year, particularly related to decline of deficit of foreign trade balance due to growth of export and reduction of import. I hoped that April and July events happened in 2016 (escalation of NKR conflict and seizure of police building by rebels in Yerevan- ed. note) will give a good shake to our officials but unfortunately the figures registered at the yearend demonstrate that they do not care much about all this", he noted.

The economist brought as an example the following figures registered between 2008 and 2016 (during Serzh Sargsyan's presidency). Thus, the economist thinks that during the abovementioned period Armenia's GDP declined by 11.5%, while public foreign debt grew by 311% and poverty level raised to 29.8% from 26.4%. At the same time expenditures of state budget in AMD terms increased by 166% and in dollar terms by 6-7% amid growth of expenses on maintenance of state machine by 265%, while expenses on education grew by only 123.3%. "These figures demonstrate what the authorities really want from our country. And unfortunately I have realized that our officials want only one thing-to retain their power at any cost, forgetting that they are the authors of the current situation. They talk about using reasonable approaches, fight against monopolies, but the overall situation of Armenian economy remains the same- it is an oligarchic system and the officials do not want to withdraw it", Asatryan stressed.

According to the preliminary statistical data economic activity in Jan-Dec 2016 grew by 0.5% y- o-y versus 3.1% growth in the same period of 2015. In 2015 3.9% growth was registered.  To recall, World Bank downgraded its forecast for GDP growth in Armenia in 2016 to stagnation (0% versus early forecasted 3.1%). In its January forecast the bank upgraded expectations to 2.4% growth with acceleration of growth to 2.7% in 2017. International Monetary Fund (IMF) has upgraded its forecast for Armenia's economic growth in 2016 to 3.2% versus earlier forecasted 2.25-2.5% with further acceleration of growth to 3.4% in 2017. The Central Bank of Armenia forecasted slackening of GDP growth in 2016 to 1.3- 1.8%. The state budget of Armenia fixed 2.2% GDP growth in 2016.

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