Kazakhstan: Country Economic Forecast: 12 Jan 2012

Kazakhstan: Country Economic Forecast: 12 Jan 2012


January 12, 2012
5 Pages - SKU: OFE6749517
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Countries covered: Kazakhstan

GDP growth slowed a little in H2 under the impact of slower growth in key export markets and weaker oil and metal prices. Even so, GDP is still estimated to have risen 6.7% in 2011, driven by high commodity prices, heavy government spending and continued strong growth in China and Russia. Recovery in the agricultural sector partly offset weak growth in the industrial sector in Q4. Medium-term growth prospects remain favourable, given plans for mining and oil production and strong public and external finances. But for 2012, we expect growth to slow to 5.8%, with oil prices seen falling by 11%, metal prices by 8% and growth in the EU now forecast at about zero. Downside risks are significant given the high dependence on commodity exports, close links to the international financial markets and the Eurozone and continued weakness in the banking sector. Inflation fell for a fourth consecutive month in December to 7.4%, its lowest since October 2010. We expect it to drift a little lower in 2012, to an average of 6.6%, due primarily to weaker global pressures. But loose fiscal and monetary policy will keep domestic inflation pressures quite strong. The current account surplus is estimated to have risen to US$11.8bn in 2011 due to a 46% surge in merchandise exports. A surplus of about US$2bn is forecast in 2012.



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