ArmInfo. In Armenia, economic activity in the 1st quarter of 2021 compared to the same period of 2020 decreased by 2% (against 4% growth in the 1st quarter of 2020). According to the final data of the Statistical Committee of the Republic of Armenia, only the construction sector and the energy complex were in growth, while the industrial sector, agricultural sector, trade, and the service sector are still overdrawn.
Thus, the growth of the construction sector by 4.7% and the energy complex by 1.4% was accompanied by a decline in the industrial sector by 3.9%, the agricultural sector - by 1%, the trade sector - by 5.6%, and the service sector - by 8.1%. As a comparison, we note that a year earlier in the first quarter, only the construction sector was in decline (9.4%), while the rest of the industries showed growth: the energy complex - 14.8%, the industrial sector - 8.7%, the service sector - 5.5 %, agricultural sector - 4.5%, trade sector - 0.2%.
Meanwhile, in March 2021 compared to February (on a monthly basis), economic activity increased by 9.6% (against a 0.2% decline in March 2020). Moreover, the upward dynamics is recorded in all areas, and the construction sector and the energy complex - 23.5% and 16%, demonstrate the most significant growth respectively, followed by trade and services with the same 9.5% growth, and the industrial sector with 9.1% growth. A year earlier, in March 2020, compared to February, only the construction sector was in growth (14%), and all other industries went into decline: the energy complex - 15.4%, the service sector - 5.8%, the trade sector - 3, 5% and the industrial sector - 2%. For the agricultural sector, statistics for the month are not indicated.
On a y-o-y basis (March 2021 to March 2020), economic activity reversed from a 4.9% decline to a 3.8% growth. This is due to the reversal of the trend in all industries from descending to ascending, with the most tangible growth recorded by the energy complex - 18.3% and the construction sector - 10.8%, with a more modest 3.8% in the industrial sector, 4.6% in the trade sector, and a paltry 0.9% in the service sector. A year earlier, in March 2020 by March 2019, these industries were in decline: the construction sector - 26.2%, the trade sector - 9.9%, the service sector - 4.8%, the industrial sector - 1.9%, the energy complex - 1%.
According to the statistics in the first quarter of 2021, the absolute leadership is held by the trade sector with a volume of 664.8 billion drams ($ 1.3 billion). The industrial sector ranks second in terms of volume - 470.4 billion ($ 897.5 million), the third - the service sector - 403.98 billion drams ($ 770.7 million), the fourth - the agricultural sector - 75.4 billion drams ($ 143.9 million), and the fifth - the construction sector - 48.8 billion drams ($ 93.1 million). In January-March 2021, the volume of electricity generation was 2112.9 million kWh, of which in March alone- 736.1 million kWh.
In January-March 2021 the industrial product price index compared to the same period last year increased by 7.1%, in March alone it increased by 1.8%, and in comparison with March 2020 it increased by 9.3%, while as a year earlier, the dynamics was negative: in January-March 2020 - a decline of 0.1% per annum, in March - a decline of 0.4%, in comparison with March 2019 - a decline of 1.7%.
At the same time, in January-March 2021, Armenia's foreign trade turnover amounted to 791.3 billion drams ($ 1.509 billion) with a y-o-y decline of 4.4%. In its structure, the volume of exports underwent a y- o-y growth of 3.4% to 300.4 billion drams ($ 572.9 million), while imports declined by 7.7% to 490.9 billion drams ($ 936.4 million). In March 2021 alone, foreign trade turnover increased by 12.8% due to an increase in exports by 11.6% and imports by 13.5%. From March 2021 to March 2020, due to an increase in exports by 21.8% and imports by 5%, the dynamics of trade increased by 10.7%. A year earlier, in January-March 2020, foreign trade turnover underwent a y-o-y decline of 4% due to a decline in imports by 6.2% with a stagnant growth of exports by 0.2%, in March 2020, with a decrease in exports by 13.3% and imports by 4.9%, the dynamics of foreign trade turnover decreased by 7.9%, and compared to March 2019, a 16% decline in foreign trade turnover was provoked by a decline in both exports by 17.4% and imports by 15.3%. The average calculated AMD exchange rate was 527.67 AMD / $ 1 in March 2021, and 524.14 AMD / $ 1 in January-March, against 489.01 AMD / $ 1 in March 2020 and 482.32 AMD / $ 1 in January-March 2020
To note, the state budget of the Republic of Armenia for 2021 provides for a GDP growth of 3.2%. The Central Bank of Armenia forecasts 1.4% GDP growth for 2021, the IMF's forecast GDP growth in Armenia in 2021 looks more conservative - 1%. And the World Bank forecasted 3.4% GDP growth in Armenia in 2020. To recall, in 2020, in Armenia, as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, a state of emergency was introduced from March 16, which lasted until September 12, but security measures were retained after the emergency was lifted. In this regard, a temporary ban was imposed on many types of economic activity in the first month of the state of emergency, which was partially lifted in the second half of April, and the ban was completely lifted on May 18. From the same day, public transport (including the metro) and many public catering and services began to work, but the activities of international air, rail, and bus communications were still limited, but from September 2, restrictions on entry and exit to Armenia were lifted across air borders.