Economic news in brief

The US dollar exchange rate fell by 7.6 tenge Sept. 21 relative to similar trades the previous day. The weighted average US dollar rate was 352.09 tenge per dollar with T+1 in tenge (USDKZT_TOM, next day’s settlements after the deal) after the morning trading session at the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange (KASE), reported inform.kz. with reference to KASE. The minimum dollar rate was at 350.1 tenge per dollar during the session; the maximum, 357 tenge. The total volume of trading was $147.4 million.

Kazakh household income increased by 7.9 percent in the second quarter, with the average income approximated at 520,000 tenge (US$1,466.20), reported finprom.kz. Average household income was 480,000 tenge (US$1,353.40) during the same period last year. The main source of income for the majority of households is hired labour, representing approximately 335,000 tenge (US$944.50). Pensions comprise 91,000 tenge (US$256.60), or 19.7 percent of all household income. Income from self-employment and entrepreneurial activity averaged 57,000 tenge (US$160.70). Material aid from relatives and acquaintances, alimony, allowances and other social transfers make up only 7.7 percent (40,000 tenge or US$112.80).

Kazakh budget revenues decreased 1 percent so far this year. Budget transfers provided more than half (1.4 trillion tenge or US$3.95 billion) of all income, while the remainder came mainly from taxes (1.2 trillion tenge or US$3.38 billion). Income to local budgets was 2.66 trillion tenge (US$7.49 billion) from January-July. In the last five years, local budget revenue in the corresponding period increased by 779.7 billion tenge, or 41.6 percent. The highest local budget revenue among the regions was in the South Kazakhstan region, which recorded approximately 342 billion tenge (US$964.28 million).

Kazakhs purchased 36,191 new cars for 304.6 billion tenge (US$858.83 million) in January-August, with the average cost per vehicle growing by 7 percent to 8,429,926 tenge (US$23,768.36). More than one-third of customers (37.1 percent) preferred cars priced at less than five million tenge (US$14,097.60). Business and premium-class cars represented 16.1 percent (5,822 units) and 10.7 percent (3,881 units), respectively. Sales growth is connected to the renewal of an available line of business-class sedans.

Investment in housing construction increased significantly from January-August. Approximately 702 billion tenge (US$1.98 billion) was raised, a 31-percent hike compared to last year due to the launch of concessional lending for citizens and the Nurly Zher housing programme. The Ministry for Investment and Development reported 7.7 million square metres of housing have been put into operation, 112 percent compared to 2017. The annual plan of 12.1 million square metres has been 64 percent fulfilled and 67,055 housing units, including 26,665 individual houses, were commissioned.

More than 253 unemployed and self-employed individuals opened businesses this year in the North Kazakhstan region, reported inform.kz. The launches were made possible by the Bastau project, the training course on disciplines such as marketing, tax and judicial legislation, according to the regional chamber of entrepreneurs. The programme trained 937 people in 2017, 160 of whom received funding and opened businesses. This year’s plan is to train at least 2,000 people. The bulk of the projects are in agriculture, such as livestock, meat and dairy products and greenhouse fruit and vegetable production.

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