Kazakhstan to beat 2010 growth forecast: IMF

Oct 28. AFP

Kazakhstan to beat 2010 growth forecast: IMFEnergy-rich Kazakhstan’s economy will grow by 5.4 percent this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said, exceeding the 4.0 percent growth rate the fund had previously predicted.

The former Soviet republic, buoyed by Russia’s economic recovery and high energy prices, looks placed to exceed previous government and fund projections, the group said in a new report on Thursday.

“The upswing in Russia is helping the region, particularly the oil and gas importers, through trade and remittance channels,” the report said. “The oil and gas exporters are also benefiting from higher hydrocarbon prices.”

Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest oil producer and one of the world’s leading uranium producers, was buffeted by plummeting commodity prices as a result of the global financial crisis.

The IMF had predicted a more modest 4.0 percent GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rate in a report issued in August. In the same month, the country’s finance minister predicted 5.0 percent growth.

The country can expect to see similar growth in 2011 if oil prices remain at or around current levels, the report said.

“The outlook for 2011 is generally positive. With oil prices foreseen to remain near 80 dollars (57.87 euros) per barrel in 2011… oil and gas exporters should see broadly similar growth rates to those in 2010,” it said.