Kazakhstan raises 2010 growth target to 7 pct

May 11. Reuters. ASTANA

* PM says Jan-April growth was 7.6 pct
* Previous 2010 forecast was 1.5-2.0 percent

Kazakhstan raises 2010 growth target to 7 pctThe government of Kazakhstan has raised its economic growth forecast for this year after a better-than-expected performance in the first four months, Prime Minister Karim Masimov said on Tuesday.

“It is important that we secure sustainable growth (this year), that is 7 percent,” Masimov told a government meeting, adding that GDP in January-April had grown 7.6 percent.

The government has earlier conservatively forecast 2010 growth at 1.5-2.0 percent.

The economy expanded by 6.6 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier as prices for oil and metals, Kazakhstan’s main exports, rose from the lows seen in early 2009.

The resource-rich Central Asian nation was in recession for the first three quarters of 2009 as it suffered from the global economic downturn. In the full 2009, the Kazakh economy grew 1.2 percent.