Economic news in brief

Kazakhstan’s population continues to get younger, as the number of children under 15 has been gradually increasing in the last five years. As of January, they comprise 29.9 percent of the population, or 5.49 million, a 2.9-percent increase year-on-year (yoy). The proportion of children in eight regions exceeds 30 percent. The “youngest” populations are in the Turkestan and Mangystau regions, 39.6 percent and 36.6 percent, respectively.

At the end of April, the number of operating small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) increased 11.7 percent year-on-year to 1.3 million; the number of individual entrepreneurs hiked 11.8 percent. In 2018, SMEs produced record volume 26.5 trillion tenge (US$70.05 billion) in goods, a 25.3-percent increase year-on-year. Small enterprises represent 68.7 percent of production volume, or 18.2 trillion tenge (US$48.11 billion). Medium-sized enterprises produced 5.2 trillion tenge (US$13.75 billion) in goods; individual entrepreneurs generated 1.8 trillion tenge (US$4.76 billion) and peasant or farm enterprises, 1.3 trillion tenge (US$3.44 billion). Individual entrepreneurs are mainly concentrated in Almaty, Nur-Sultan and the East Kazakhstan Region.

Automotive industry production volume in the first quarter was 359.4 billion tenge (US$950 million), a 17.6-percent increase year-on-year. The East Kazakhstan, Karaganda and Kostanai regions and Almaty account for more than half of engineering industry production. Motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers saw a 58.9-percent increase in production (83.9 billion tenge or US$221.77 million); other vehicles and equipment, a 62.9-percent increase (23.2 billion tenge or US$61.32 million). Conversely, computers, electronic and optical products experienced a 39.1-percent reduction.

The Ministry of Education and Science commissioned 14 dormitories during the first quarter of 2019, compared to nine buildings last year. The ministry plans to build 29 dormitories accommodating 9,196 students by the end of the year. The total area of ​​the buildings commissioned declined to 21,400 square metres compared to 39,700 square metres a year earlier. The useful area decreased from 24,200 to 12,900 square metres; the construction volume of new buildings, from 112,800 cubic metres to 61,900 cubic metres. Actual construction costs were 3.7 billion tenge (US$9.75 million), against 11.9 billion tenge (US$31.46 million) in the first quarter of 2018. The greatest need in dormitories was recorded in Almaty (31,000 places), Nur-Sultan (17,000) and Shymkent (8,400).

Average retail gasoline prices fell slightly by the end of April. Most noticeably, the cost of AI-92 gasoline dropped 8 percent per litre in a year to 148.3 tenge (US$0.39), AI-95/96 decreased 5.3 percent to 168.8 tenge (US$0.45) and AI-98 decreased 3 percent to 186.9 tenge (US$0.49). By contrast, diesel fuel rose in cost. In 2018, the price increased 23 percent during the winter to 259.3 tenge (US$0.69) per litre and 16.3 percent during the summer to 191.8 tenge (US$0.51). The largest networks of petrol stations are owned by KazMunayGas (301), Helios (292) and Sinoil (141).

Telecommunications company revenues increased 5.5 percent to 252.2 billion tenge (US$666.64 million) January-April year-on-year. The largest share of market revenue, 35.9 percent, came from Internet services (90.6 billion tenge (US$239.4 million)), a 14-percent increase. Mobile services represented 27.1 percent, generating 68.4 billion tenge (US$180.80 million) revenues and falling 6.4 percent year-on-year. Revenues from data transmission and local telephone services were 15.5 billion tenge (US$40.97 million) and 12.5 billion tenge (US$33.04 million), respectively.

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