ArmInfo. A more impressive decline in imports than exports reduced the foreign trade deficit of Armenia in January-September 2020 by 23.6% per annum (against an increase of 0.5% a year earlier against the background of an increase in exports and imports).
At the same time, in September of this year alone, this indicator decreased by 6% (against the August growth by 13%), against the background of accelerating export growth with a slowdown in import growth. And in September 2020, compared to September 2019, the foreign trade deficit decreased by 43.2% as a result of a significant decline in imports, while exports remained growing.
According to preliminary data of the RA Statistical Committee, Armenia's foreign trade turnover in January-September 2020 turned towards a decline of 10.5% from 5.8% growth a year earlier, which is due to a more noticeable deterioration in the dynamics of imports - from 4.7% growth to a 13.7% decline, rather than exports - from 7.9% growth to 4.4% decline. As a result, Armenia's foreign trade turnover amounted to $ 5.05 billion in January-September 2020, in particular, exports - $ 1.83 billion and imports - $ 3.22 billion, which formed a foreign trade deficit of $ 1.39 billion. In September 2020 alone, foreign trade turnover slowed down to 4.9% from 5.8% in August due to a slowdown in import growth - from 7.3% to 2.7%, while export growth accelerated - from 3.4% to 8.7%. As a result, Armenia's foreign trade deficit amounted to $ 154.4 million in September 2020, this time showing a decline (by 6%) against an increase of 47.4% in the same month of 2019. A year earlier, in September 2019, foreign trade turnover grew by 13.1% due to an increase in imports by 20.5% with a stagnant 0.2% growth in exports.
In y-o-y terms (September 2020 to September 2019), a 12.4% drop in foreign trade turnover was provoked by a 20.4% decline in imports, while exports grew by 4.6%. A year earlier, in September 2019 to September 2018, the growth of imports by 33% and exports by 28.8% increased foreign trade turnover by 30.1%.
According to statistics, the economic activity of Armenia in January-September 2020 decreased by 6.6% per annum, against an increase of 7.1% in the same period of 2019. In September 2020 alone, economic activity increased by 10.6%, after increasing by 7.4% in August and against growth by 7.8% in September 2019. In y-o-y terms (September 2020 to September 2019), economic activity decreased by 7.5% (against an increase of 7.8% in September 2019 to September 2018).
To note, in September, the RA Central Bank revised its GDP forecast for 2020, worsening it towards a larger decline - by 6.2% instead of the previously predicted 4% (against the actual 7.6% growth in 2019). In the direction of a larger decline, the Central Bank also revised its forecast for 2020 for foreign trade, expecting an equal subsidence in exports and imports of 29-32% instead of the previously expected negative 12-15% for exports and 15-17% for imports (against actual growth in 2019 of exports and imports by 10.3% and 9.1%, respectively). According to the new (October) forecast of the World Bank (WB) for 2020, the decline in Armenia's GDP will be 6.3% (against the previously expected 2.8%), and the decline in exports and imports will be 12.7% and 15.1%, respectively. The current account deficit in Armenia, according to new WB expectations, will decrease from the actual 7.2% of GDP in 2019 to the projected 6.2% of GDP in 2020.