IMF projects a robust growth in all five countries of Central Asia in 2012 and 2013
Silk Road Newsline
WASHINGTON (Silk Road Newsline) – In a new report released in Washington on Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund projected a robust growth in all five countries of Central Asia in 2012 and 2013, but warned that Europe and oil prices could yet be a serious risk factor.
According to the IMF, growth in Kazakhstan is seen at 5.9 percent this year and 6 percent the following year. In Kyrgyzstan, growth is projected at 5 percent in 2012 and 5.5 percent in 2013.
Forecast for Tajikistan is 6 percent and 6 percent, for Turkmenistan is 7 percent and 6.7 percent, and for Uzbekistan is 7 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively.
The IMF’s outlook for the countries of Central Asia and other emerging markets is for continued strong growth.
“The outlook is rather good. We predict, you know, less growth than in the past few years, but still strong growth. They face a tough international environment. That’s really where the problems come from, for the most part,” said IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard.
The IMF warned that risks of a renewed upsurge of the crisis in Europe continue to loom large, along with geopolitical uncertainties affecting the oil market.
“There are always many risks, but there is just one overwhelming one, which is another Euro crisis. You know, some measures were taken. Actually, important measures were taken as a result of the last one. But they’re not quite enough. If you look at the program countries, or if you look at some other countries in Europe, they still have a terrible problem of achieving competitiveness, decreasing the fiscal deficit, having growth,” he said.
Blanchard said the second key risk to the outlook would be rising oil prices.
“What we looked at was a scenario in which there was general uncertainty in the Middle East, so the oil price went up by roughly 50 percent for a long time. That is not good. That, we think, would decrease the level of output over two years for the U.S., for Europe by about 1 percent, more so in Japan, emerging Asia, because they import more oil, so 1.5 percent, roughly,” he said.