Economic news in brief

Kazakhstan experienced an 8.3-percent increase in the telecommunications market from January-August, year-on-year (yoy) with service sales revenue at 519.9 billion tenge (US$1.34 billion). Internet services account for the largest share, 35.6 percent or 185.2 billion tenge (US$477.85 million), a 15.7-percent increase yoy. At the same time, mobile communications revenue, comprising 27.8 percent of the total, decreased 0.5 percent to 144.5 billion tenge (US$372.84 million) yoy and the number of mobile subscribers dropped 3.4 percent. The share of Internet users age six-74 was 81.3 percent.

For the first time, Kazakhstan’s average minimum subsistence level at the end of August exceeded 30,000 tenge (US$77.40). The exact figure, 32,000 tenge (US$82.60), was a 9.7-percent increase year-on-year (yoy). At the same time, prices for goods and services increased 5.5 percent per year. A basic monthly grocery basket was 17,600 tenge (US$45.40); the balance, 14,400 tenge (US$37.15), accounted for non-food goods and paid services. The cost of living in the Mangystau Region, Nur-Sultan and Almaty exceeded the national level, rounded to 39,400 tenge (US$101.65), 37,700 tenge (US$97.30) and 35,200 tenge (US$90.80), respectively. The lowest rates are in the Pavlodar (28,600 tenge (US$73.79)), Kyzylorda (28,700 tenge (US$74.10)) and Shymkent (29,100 tenge (US$75.01)) regions.

According to the recently published 2018 BP Statistical Review of World Energy report, Kazakhstan has the world’s tenth largest coal reserves (25.6 billion tonnes), or 2.4 percent of the total. According to the Ministry of National Economy, coal production (including lignite and coal concentrate) from January-August this year was 71.9 million tonnes, a 2.3-percent decrease compared to the 73.6 million tonnes in the same period a year earlier. Coal production reached 118.5 million tonnes at the end of 2018, an annual growth rate of 5.5 percent. Most coal was mined in the Pavlodar (70.6 million tonnes), Karaganda (39.4 million tonnes) and East Kazakhstan (8.3 million tonnes) regions.

Deposits in Kazakh banks totalled 15.24 trillion tenge (US$39.32 billion) in the end of August, a 1.3-percent decrease per year. Retail, including non-resident deposits, represent 57.2 percent or 8.71 trillion tenge (US$22.47 billion), a 2.6-percent increase year-on-year (yoy). The bulk (87.3 percent) were term deposits (a 0.6-percent increase per year), more than half of which are in tenge. Kazakhs also prefer long-term tenge deposits, which occupy 52.8 percent in fixed-term deposits in national currency (2.09 trillion tenge (US$5.39 billion)). The indicator decreased 2.4 percent, while individual short-term tenge deposits increased 12.2 percent to 1.87 trillion tenge (US$4.83 billion).

At the end of the second quarter, 2.1 million youth ages 15-28 were employed, a 3-percent increase year-on-year (yoy). The majority work in wholesale and retail trades, including car repair (388,800), followed by agriculture, forestry and fisheries (253,100) and education (239,700). The number of unemployed young people fell 1.6 percent to 81,100 yoy, most of whom (approximately 16,900) live in densely populated Almaty, 9.3 percent more than in the same period in 2018. The Almaty (8,100) and Karaganda (6,500) regions also have a significant number of unemployed youth. The number of employed youth had been gradually decreasing from 2013-2017, a trend which reversed in 2018.

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