YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — A senior official from the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that the Armenian economy is on course to beat IMF forecasts and grow by at least 6.5 percent this year.
Yulia Ustyugova, the fund’s resident representative in Yerevan, cautioned, however, that this growth is “narrowly-based” and largely driven by private consumption, rather than rising investments or exports.
Economic growth in Armenia slowed from 7.5 percent in 2017 to 5.2 percent in 2018. The current Armenian government, which took office following the “Velvet Revolution” of April-May 2018, forecast late last year a growth rate of 4.5 percent for 2019.
Official statistics for the first nine months of this year indicate more robust economic activity in the country. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and other senior officials have said that full-year GDP growth should accelerate to 7 percent.
“Our growth projections are very much in line with the authorities’ projections. For this year we project growth to be at around 6.5-7 percent,” Ustyugova told RFE/RL’s Armenian service in an interview.
“We can say that growth has been higher than we expected,” she said. “We have been revising our growth forecasts upwards. This is mostly because consumption — and mostly private consumption — has been much stronger than anticipated. So it’s a good thing that economic activity has been growing.”