Kazakh economy minister notes slowing inflation, increasing investment in first half of 2018

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth reached 4.1 percent in the first half of the year, Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov said during a July 10 government meeting. The economic recovery comes as inflation continues to slow and investment is high.

Photo credit: insurancechat.co.za.

Photo credit: insurancechat.co.za.

“Inflation has been steadily falling and reached its lowest point in the last three years. From the beginning of the year, it was 2.6 percent,” Suleimenov said, according to primeminister.kz.

Investments in fixed assets extended their high growth trend of 25.8 percent. Industrial production grew by 5.2 percent, mining industry by 5.5 percent and manufacturing by 5.2 percent.

Among the processing industries, the production of paper products showed growth of 12 percent, the chemical industry grew 11 percent and mechanical engineering output increased 17.2 percent. Metallurgy, refining and food production grew by 3.4, 4.4 and 5.2 percent respectively.

The volume of agriculture production rose 4 percent.

The construction industry grew by 3.8 percent over six months. The increased rate of construction of residential buildings, industrial and social facilities, and oil and gas pipelines; the building of a gas compressor station; the reconstruction of highways; the construction of a runway in the city of Semei; and the modernisation of the Shymkent petrochemical plant all accelerated the growth of the sector.

According to the minister, an increase in consumer demand and sustained business activity in the real sector of the economy triggered growth in the services.

Foreign trade turnover went up 24.3 percent or $21 billion. Exports jumped 27 percent.

“High production activity has had a positive impact on the labour market. Since the beginning of this year, 178,700 people have been employed [as of June 1]. Wages are growing at a moderate pace. In January to May, the average monthly salary was 152,800 tenge [US$445] and grew in real terms by 0.8 percent. Real monetary incomes for January to April increased 1.2 percent,” Suleimenov added.

Taking the floor, Minister of Finance Bakhyt Sultanov noted the growth in state coffers. Compared to the same period last year, the growth rate of the state budget revenues (excluding transfers) reached 112 percent or 407 billion tenge (US$1.18 billion) more, he said. The revenue of the national budget grew by 114 percent or 329 billion tenge (US$959.3 million), and local budgets increased 107.3 percent or by 77 billion tenge (US$224.5 million).

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