EBRD: Azerbaijan economy expanded by 4% this year

Baku: Countries in the Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) continue to be influenced by the regional economic and security challenges but are expected to sustain growth in 2015-16 according to the EBRD’s latest economic outlook, APA-Economics reported.

In January-September of 2015, the economy of Azerbaijan expanded by 3.7 per cent year-on-year, with non-oil GDP expanding by 6.4 per cent.

Amid low oil prices, Azerbaijan’s foreign currency reserves (in convertible currencies) decreased from US$ 13.2 billion in November 2014 to approximately US$ 5.3 billion in August 2015. Azerbaijan’s overall liquidity position remained strong, backed by the sizable assets of the State Oil Fund.

In February 2015, after almost two decades of stable exchange rate, the central bank of Azerbaijan devalued the manat against the US dollar by 25 per cent. This helped contain pressure on the fiscal and external balance, but led to balance sheet concerns in the banking sector.

The EBRD upgraded Azerbaijan’s GDP growth forecast to +3 per cent in 2015 and +2.5 per cent in 2016.

SOURCE: AZERI-PRESS NEWS AGENCY

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