ArmInfo.Speaking at the presentation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report "Ensuring Macroeconomic Stability in the Caucasus and Central Asia in the Conditions of Ongoing Uncertainty" in Astana, Deputy Governor at Central Bank of Armenia Armen Nurbenkyan mentioned three key factors ensuring the growth of Armenia's economy last year.
, he said, adding that the increase in GDP due to the activity of non-residents amounted to approximately 16-18%. In this vein, he stated that these funds are managed quite tightly by the country's second-rate banks, they were not transferred into loans for the productive economy, but were invested in foreign assets. , he said, also pointing out the important factor that people not only moved to Armenia, but also moved their business here.
And for a clear demonstration of the factor of individuals in the issue of ensuring economic growth, he cited the following data. According to Nurbekyan, in 2022 there were 25,000 unregistered employee in Armenia, and by December of the same year, this figure had already reached 150,000. He stressed that these are mainly specialists in the field of information technology, where salaries are 4 times higher than the average salary in Armenia. He also pointed to the increasing rates of registered individuals opening a business in the RA. According to him, according to the assessment of the Central Bank, the effect of their impact on the economy will be 1-2 points over the next year. "If you look at the other side of the coin, then demand and inflation are the key points here," the deputy chairman of the Central Bank said, adding that Armenia had already passed the peak in terms of inflation.
He recalled that last year inflation in Armenia reached 3.2%, which is lower than the Central Bank's inflation targeting of 4%. "But, if we look into the reasons and see what this inflation consists of, we will see that we also have chaotic inflation in such areas as, for example, the service sector," said the representative of the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia, adding that it is too early to celebrate the victory , and it is necessary to understand what constitutes inflation bursts. According to Nurbekyan, if aggregate demand continues to be as high, then inflation will also grow at a rather high rate. Touching upon the refinancing rate, he noted that the Central Bank of Armenia did not raise or lower it this year, however, gave a clear message to the market about its readiness to raise it if necessary. The Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia also drew attention to the fact that the CB raised the countercyclical capital buffer ratio to prevent capital outflows and economic reversals, as now is the best time to do so. As another risk in the current realities, Nurbekyan mentioned the overheating of the real estate market and drew attention to the increased demand, especially in the secondary market and rising prices, despite the measures taken by the Central Bank of the Republic of Armenia.
In conclusion, Nurbekyan noted that the Central Bank of Armenia is considering various scenarios for the development of the situation in the future - both inflation and deflation, and based on this, the Central Bank has left the refinancing rate unchanged for the time being.
It should be noted that the planned monetary policy (MP) scenario of the Central Bank of Armenia provides for a rapid decline in y-o-y inflation, which in the near future will form at a level below the target threshold, and in the medium term will stabilize near the target 4%. In this regard, the regulator decided to keep the refinancing rate at 10.75%. The refinancing rate was raised to 10.75% by the Central Bank on December 13, 2022, which was found to be a new all-time high after 10.5% in 2015. The previous five ones were in 2022 in February from 7.75% to 8%, in March to 9.25%, in August to 9.5%, in September to 10% and in November to 10.5%. And from 2021 to December 13, 2022 inclusive, there were twelve increases in the refinancing rate - in total from 5.25% to 10.75%. In previous years, the historical maximum of the refinancing rate was fixed in 2015 - 10.5% (according to the February decision of the Central Bank), with a repetition of this level in 2022 (according to the November decision of the Central Bank). In March 2023, the official y-o-y inflation in the consumer market of Armenia decreased to 5.4% from the y-o-y l inflation rate of 7.4% in March 2022. The corey-o-y inflation calculated by the Central Bank also decreased to 6.4% in March 2023 from y-o-y 7% in March 2022.