EBRD keeps economic growth forecast for Azerbaijan unchanged

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) kept the forecast of the economic growth in Azerbaijan in 2015-2016 at 1.5 percent, according to EBRD’s updated report, the Regional Economic Prospects.

The previous report was released in January 2015.

The GDP growth in Azerbaijan in 2014 was 2.8 percent, and in the first quarter of 2015 it stood at 5.3 percent.

EBRD said despite the Azerbaijani manat’s devaluation on February 21 negatively affected the banking sector, it helped buttress the fiscal revenue impact of declining oil revenues and competitiveness.

The report also said that low oil prices negatively affected trade balance of Azerbaijan, and international reserves remained under pressure, declining by 14 percent month-on-month in March to the lowest level since late-2011.

The forecast of Azerbaijan’s GDP growth is one of the highest in the Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.

For instance, in Armenia, this year EBRD expects a negative GDP growth (1.5 percent) and an increase of one percent in 2016, in Moldova: -2.0 percent and 1.5 percent increase respectively, in Russia: -4.5 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, in Ukraine: -7.5 percent and three percent respectively.

A negative growth of 2.5 percent is expected in Belarus in 2015, and a zero growth is expected in 2016.

EBRD expects the GDP growth in Georgia in 2015 to stand at 2.3 percent, and at 2.6 percent in 2016.

EBRD’s analysts believe that a negative GDP growth of 3.3 percent in 2015 and an increase of 1.8 percent in 2016 are expected in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts a three percent economic growth in Azerbaijan in 2015.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects a 0.6 percent growth this year, and a 2.5 percent growth in 2016.

Azerbaijan’s government expects that this year the GDP growth will be 4.4 percent.