Briefing Notes for the Launch in Tashkent, 6 May 2010
Impact of the crisis
- Uzbekistan was one of Asia-Pacific’s fastest growing economies in 2009. GDP grew by 8.1%. This expansion was led by industrial output which grew by 9.0% in 2009. Construction also made progress. Gross fixed investment grew by about 30% in the first nine months of 2009.
- A good grain harvest enabled agricultural production to rise by 5.7% in 2009. Economic growth was also sustained by household consumption. Retail trade grew by 16.6% in 2009. Private consumption would have been even higher had it not been for the decline in remittances from the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan.
- In 2009, inflation was expected to be 8.0% as a result of wage increases and depreciation of the som.
- Between 2008 and 2009 the current-account surplus was expected to narrow from 12.8% to 7.2% of GDP – owing to a smaller trade surplus and lower flows of remittances.
- Uzbekistan has seen smaller declines in exports and imports than elsewhere in North and Central Asia. Export revenues for 2009 were sustained by the demand for the country’s principal exports – gold, gas, and cotton. In future, hydrocarbons will become an even more important source of income.
- Owing to high commodity prices, especially for gold and cotton exports, and robust growth, Uzbekistan expected a modest budget surplus of 0.1% of GDP in 2009.
Outlook and policy challenges
- The growth prospects of Uzbekistan in 2010 will depend on trends in global commodity prices and the performance of the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan as the largest trading partners, important investors and major sources of remittances for the country.
- Uzbekistan is expected to continue to be among the fastest growing economies in the region in 2010 at 8% growth of GDP.
- Continued export-related inflows and increase in public sector wages could maintain inflationary pressures. Inflation in 2010 is forecasted at 8.5%.
- Rising global prices on the country’s principal export commodities—gold, gas and cotton—were expected to increase export revenues in 2010.