Azerbaijan’s economic growth is forecast to reach 1.7% in 2018 on a rebound in construction and accelerate further to 2.0% in 2019, Asian Development Bank (ADB) reported.
According to ADB, Inflation is projected to decelerate to 7.0% in 2018, as exchange rate stability improves, and rise to 8.0% in 2019: ‘Recession ended in 2017 as higher oil prices and gains in services and agriculture offset a decline in industry and returned the current account balance to surplus. Expansion in services and agriculture stabilized the economy in 2017. On the supply side, industry is forecast to contract by 0.5% in 2018 with a further drop in oil production, though the launch of the Shah Deniz II gas field in the second half of the year will offset some of the decline. A planned doubling of public investment, notably on infrastructure and public housing, is expected to boost construction by 6.0% in 2018, after which expansion should slow to a more sustainable 3.0% in 2019. On the demand side, higher incomes and a more stable currency should raise private consumption in both 2018 and 2019. Increased gas production, especially in 2019, should expand net exports’.
‘The current account surplus is forecast to widen to equal 6.9% of GDP in 2018 before returning to 6.2% in 2019 as the Shah Deniz II gas field begins operation, and with oil prices projected to remain above $60/barrel. Imports are forecast to decline by 6.0% in 2018, exports are projected to grow by 13.0% in 2018’, the bank said.