ArmInfo.In Armenia, economic activity in Q1 2022 increased by 9.6% compared to the same period in 2021 (against a 2% decline in Q1 2020), exceeding even the pre-Covid 6.5% growth in Q1 2019. According to the final data of the RA Statistical Committee, the agricultural sector lingered in the decline, while other sectors showed growth, and the service sector and the energy complex were the main drivers of economic growth.
Thus, the service sector showed an increase of 22.2%, the energy complex - by 16.7%, the trade sector - by 7.6%, the construction sector - by 6.2%, the industrial sector - by 3.1%. And the agricultural sector lingered in the decline with an acceleration of rates up to 5.4%. As a comparison, we note that a year earlier in the first quarter, the construction sector grew by 4.7%, and the energy complex - by 1.4%, while the following sectors were in decline industrial sector - by 3.9%, the agricultural sector - by 1 %, trade - by 5.6% and services - by 8.1%.
Meanwhile, in March 2022, compared to February (on a monthly terms), economic activity increased by 8.4% (against 9.6% growth in March 2021). Moreover, upward dynamics was recorded in almost all areas, except for the industrial sector and the energy complex, which reduced volumes by 1.3-0.9%. In particular, the construction sector showed significant growth - by 25%, followed by the service sector and trade with an increase of 16% and 10.8%, respectively. A year earlier, in March 2021, compared to February, an upward trend was recorded in all areas, and the most significant growth was shown by the construction sector and the energy complex - 23.5% and 16%, respectively, followed by trade and the service sector with the same 9.5% growth of each, and the industrial sector with 9.1% growth.
In y-o-y terms (March 2022 to March 2021), economic activity accelerated growth from 3.8% to 6.7%. Among industries, only the industrial sector was in decline by 6.9%, while the rest sectors showed growth: the service sector - by 25.9%, the construction sector - by 8.2%, the energy complex - by 6.8%, the trade sector - by 6.6%. A year earlier, in March 2021 by March 2020, all industries were distinguished by a trend reversal from a downward to an upward trend: the energy complex - by 18.3%, the construction sector - by 10.8%, the industrial sector - by 3.8%, the trade sector- by 4.6%, and the service sector - by 0.9%.
According to the statistics for Q1 2022, the trade sector was the leader in absolute terms with a volume of 781.1 billion drams ($1.6 billion). The industrial sector was in second place in terms of volume - 550.7 billion ($1.1 billion), the third - the service sector - 503.2 billion drams ($1.03 billion), the fourth - the agricultural sector - 79.1 billion drams ($162.6 million), and the fifth - the construction sector - 55.96 billion drams ($115 million). The volume of electricity generation in January-March 2022 amounted to 2465.3 million kWh, of which - 786.4 million kWh in March alone.
The price index of industrial products in January-March 2022 compared to the same period last year increased by 11.3%, increasing by 2% in March alone and compared to March 2021 it increased by 12.5%. A year earlier, the dynamics was also positive, but were more modest: in January-March 2021 - an increase of 7.1% per annum, in March - an increase of 1.8%, compared to March 2020 - an increase of 9.3%. At the same time, Armenia's foreign trade turnover in January-March 2022 amounted to 1.02 trillion drams ($2.1 billion) with a y-o-y growth of 38.5%. In its structure, the volume of exports increased by 26.9% per annum to 355.3 billion drams ($731.8 million), while the volume of imports climbed by 45.6% to 664.3 billion drams ($1.4 billion). In March 2022 alone, foreign trade turnover decreased by 10.6% due to a decline in exports by 12.2% and imports by 9.8%. In March 2022 by March 2021, the growth of imports by 22.5% and exports by 4% increased foreign trade turnover by 15.6%.
A year earlier, in January-March 2021, foreign trade turnover was in decline by 4.4% due to a decline in imports by 7.7% with an increase in exports by 3.4%, in March 2021, an increase in exports by 11.6% and imports by 13 .5% increased foreign trade turnover by 12.8%, and compared to March 2020, the growth of foreign trade turnover by 10.7% was provoked by a significant increase in exports by 21.8% and a modest 5% increase in imports.
The average settlement rate of the dram in March 2022 was 496.96 AMD/$1, and in January-March - 486.40 AMD/$1, against 527.67 AMD/$1 in March 2021 and 524.14 AMD/$1 in January-March 2021.
It should be noted that the Central Bank of Armenia forecasts a slowdown in GDP growth to 1.6% for 2022, expecting a decline in exports and imports by 1.8-0.1% and inflation of 6.6%. The World Bank projects a slowdown in Armenia's GDP growth to 1.2% for 2022, expecting a decline in exports by 8.5% and imports by 12%. The International Monetary Fund expects a slowdown in Armenia's GDP growth to 1.5% in 2022. According to actual statistics, Armenia's GDP, after a 7.4% decline in 2020, went up by 5.7% in 2021.