22 Apr 2010 15:56

IMF improves Uzbek 2010 GDP forecast to 8% from 7%

TASHKENT. April 22 (Interfax) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has improved its forecast for GDP growth in Uzbekistan this year to 8% from the 7% it was projecting in October, the World Economic Outlook report on the IMF website says.

The IMF expects Uzbekistan's GDP will grow 7% in 2011.

Uzbekistan, which became a member of the IMF in 1992, will maintain a positive current balance of payments at last year's level of 5.1% of GDP, and the IMF expects it to be 5% next year.

Inflation will be 9.2% this year and 9.4% next year. IMF data indicate it was 14.1% last year.

Official statistics show Uzbekistan's GDP expanded 8.1% in 2009 and inflation was 7.4%. Industrial output increased 9%, agricultural output grew 5.7%, and overall economic investment climbed 24.8%.

The country plans GDP growth of 8.3% this year, industrial output growth of 8.3%, and agricultural output growth of 5%. It plans to restrain inflation to 7%-9%.

Last week, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) improved its 2010 forecast of Uzbek GDP growth to 8.5% from the 6.5% it predicted back in last September.

The ADB projects GDP growth in Uzbekistan of 9% in 2011. Inflation in the country in 2010 and 2011 could be 9.3% and 9%, respectively, and the positive current balance of payments - 13% and 14% of GDP, respectively.