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Kazakhstan National Bank's 2013 inflation and GDP forecasts

10 января 2013, 14:34
Photo by Yaroslav Radlovskiy©
Photo by Yaroslav Radlovskiy©
According to Kazakhstan National Bank, the country’s inflation rate will stay withing the range of 6-8 percent, while the GDP growth may reach 6 percent, Tengrinews.kz reports citing National Bank’s chairman Gregory Marchenko.

The inflation rate made 6 percent in 2012, which is a positive development, according to Marchenko. “As you know, we have had a forecasted middle-term corridor of 6-8 percent for the last several years. Good news is that inflation was at the very bottom of this corridor. Speaking of the last 12-13 years, our average inflation made 7.2-7.3 percent,” he noted.

The National Bank’s head announced that the Bank was not planning to change the official refinancing rate (base rate), which currently stands at 5.5 percent, in relation to the lowering inflation rate. “I think that we will be able to make some statements by the end of the second quarter, after April and May,” Marchenko said. Last time the National Bank lowered the base rate from 6 to 5.5 percent last August.

Marchenko said that the main factor affecting the inflation was the growth of services prices. The growth made 9.3 percent in 2012. The leaders among the growing services costs were the postal (56.5 percent), communications (12.2 percent), transport (12 percent) and education (11 percent) services. Housing and public utilities went 8.2 percent up with prices for hot water growing 10.8 percent and electricity costs going 10.1 percent up.

The National Bank is forecasting that the GDP growth in 2013 will stand at 5-6 percent. According to Marchenko, Kazakhstan Statistics Agency will publish the final report on the 2012 GDP by February 20. Earlier Kazakhstan Prime-Minister Serik Akhmetov said that the expected growth of Kazakhstan’s GDP in 2012 would make 5 percent. Prime-Minister noted that this was “quite a good result”.

Meanwhile, experts forecast that the beginning of 2013 will be difficult for Central Asian countries because of the drought of 2012 in the grain-yielding regions of the world. This statement was made by Director of Kazakhstan Institute of Strategic Research Bulat Sultanov. Kazakhstan’s harvest in 2012 was half of what it was last year. According to Vice-Minister of Agriculture Muslim Umiryayev, this year’s harvest made 14.8 million tons of grain, which is 2.2 times less than last year.

By Alisher Akhmetov

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