IMF Mission Chief to Armenia: GDP Growth in 2016 likely to be around 2,5%

YEREVAN. – Armenia’s GDP growth in 2016 is likely to be in the range of 2.25% - 2.5%, Mr Hossein Samiei, the new IMF Mission Chief to Armenia, told the media Wednesday in Yerevan.

In 2015, Armenian economy managed to grow by 3%, which was backed up by a supportive fiscal policy. Largest contributors to growth were agriculture and mining, but this did not help maintain tax revenues, which were a little weaker than expected. These sectors, which spearheaded growth, are relatively little taxed, while other sectors, with a larger input to tax revenues, performed not to spectacular.

According to the statistics of the Ministry of Finance, in the first 11 months of 2015 (latest data available), public revenues equaled around 1036.3 billion AMD (around $2.16 billion – editor) or 84.3% of the Government target (although social spending was kept intact).

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However, even in these two sectors growth was largely determined by one-off factors, such as relatively favorable weather conditions and putting online a new copper molybdenum mine (at Teghut). In 2016 the impact of these factors is going to wear off, and growth is going to be somewhat lower.

Still, these 2.5% are above the average of about 1.5% for Caucasus and Central Asia region, Samiei concluded.

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