Kazakhstan’s 2018 socioeconomic development yields positive results, says prime minister

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s ministers reviewed the country’s socioeconomic development for the past year at a Dec. 11 government meeting, receiving positive assessment from Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev.

Bakytzhan Sagintayev. Photo credit: primeminister.kz.

Gross domestic product (GDP) growth has remained steady at 4.1 percent for the last three months, said Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov.

“The main factors for economic growth were high investor and consumer demand, as well as production activity in the basic sectors of the economy,” he said. “Investment in fixed assets continues to play a key role in economic growth.”

Additional growth indicators include a 21.6-percent increase in foreign trade and 28.2-percent hike in exports due to greater supplies of petroleum, agricultural products, gases, aluminum and copper ores. Approximately 468,600 people gained employment and the average monthly salary grew to 159,500 tenge (US$431.61), a 2.2-percent increase in real terms.

The 5.3-percent annual inflation rate is at its lowest since 2015, noted Kazakh National Bank Chairperson Daniyar Akishev. It is projected to be at 5-7 percent by year’s end.

This year’s industrial production volume was 104.5 percent, including 104.7 percent in the mining industry and 104.9 percent in the processing industry, said Minister for Investment and Development Zhenis Kassymbek.

“In the manufacturing industry, there is a production increase of 15.7 percent in engineering, 8.1 percent in leather, 7.2 percent in chemicals, 5.1 percent in leather, 2.9 percent in rubber and plastic and 2.4 percent in furniture,” he said.

Minister of Finance Alikhan Smailov reported the state budget revenue, excluding transfers, was 102.6 percent. Revenue was 7.38 trillion tenge (US$19.97 billion), 232 billion tenge (US$627.79 million) more than the previous year.

“By the year’s end, the state budget revenue will be realised at 103 percent and expenditures at 99.6 percent,” he said.

Budget fund use is constantly monitored, he added. This year, 2,887 audits were completed on the use of 1.5 trillion tenge (US$4.06 billion). Financial irregularities of 155 billion tenge (US$419.43 million) were found, 60 percent lower than 2017.

Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev emphasised the positive growth trend in the energy industry. Oil production volume was 82.4 million tonnes, a 4.9-percent increase compared to last year. Oil production in the Karachaganak, Kashagan and Tengiz fields was 49 million tonnes and oil exports were 66 million tonnes, 3.8 percent greater than last year.

To prevent fuel price hikes and minimise the risk of a fuel shortage, the ministry is working on a temporary ban on petroleum product exports, which will not violate Eurasian Economic Union norms.

First Vice Minister of Agriculture Arman Yevniev noted agricultural output increased 2.9 percent, underpinned by 3.9-percent growth in the livestock industry and a 2.3-percent increase in crop production.

This year’s harvest yielded 22.8 million tonnes of grain and production increased 4.3 percent for meat, 3.3 percent for milk and 10.6 percent for eggs. Overall, food production increased 1.7 percent, he added.