Kazakhstan: Country Economic Forecast: 22 Apr 2013

Oxford Economics
April 22, 2013
5 Pages - SKU: OFE5027238
Countries covered: Kazakhstan

GDP rose by 4.5% in Q1, but with significant divergence in sectoral performances. Industrial output was up 1.9% and services grew strongly, but construction and agriculture continued to stagnate. Combined with weaker-than-expected growth in China, Russia and the EU, we have lowered our 2013 growth forecast slightly to 5.7% from 6% previously. We expect growth to accelerate from next year, rising to 7.5% in 2014 and then just under 7% a year in 2015-17. The main factor will be surging oil production from the giant US$46bn Kashagan offshore oil field. Strengthening global growth and policy support will also be important. Inflation fell back to 6.8% in March from February's 14-month high of 7% thanks to lower food inflation and a sharp decline in communications prices. But inflation is still forecast at 7% in both 2013 and 2014 which is in the middle of the 6-8% target range. We expect the authorities to leave the policy rate unchanged at its post-independence low of 5.5%, to focus on stimulating growth and bank lending. From a revised 3.8% of GDP in 2012, we anticipate that the current account surplus will narrow further to just 1.8% of GDP in 2013, as a result primarily of a 5% fall in oil prices. Thereafter the surplus will widen gradually as oil output growth increases.

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