1 Mar 2010 13:58

Kazakh MinEcon adjusts 2010 GDP growth forecast down to 2% from 2.4%

ASTANA. March 1 (Interfax) - GDP in the Republic of Kazakhstan is expected to grow 2% this year, the country's Economic Affairs and Budget Planning Minister Vakhyt Sultanov said as he presented the draft for an adjusted 2010 budget during the government meeting on Monday.

Industry will expand 3.3%, according to the ministry forecast. Oil extraction will total 80 million tonnes, a projection unchanged from the previous budget formulation. Exports are expected to be $49.6 billion and imports $34.2 billion, Sultanov said.

This adjusted republic budget plan is based on Brent oil prices of $65/barrel, he said. "Taking into account the positive pricing dynamics on world trading floors, the forecast of world oil prices in 2010 is increased from $50 to $65 per barrel," he said. The world's Brent oil price averaged $61.9/barrel last year, he said.

Inflation under the republic budget draft will be 6%-8% this year. "Inflation in 2010 is estimated at 6%-8%. The lower end is improved by 1.5 percentage points relative to the previous forecast indicators," Sultanov said.

The Kazakh government has increased the country's 2010 republic budget deficit to 803.6 billion tenge, he said. "All told, the adjusted parameters for the republic's budget are: revenues - 3.378 trillion tenge with an increase from the existing budget of 189.4 billion tenge, and expenditures - 4.182 trillion tenge," he said.

Kazakhstan's republic budget for 2010 was confirmed with a deficit of 721 billion tenge, or 4.1% of expected GDP. The budget is projected to take in 3.190 trillion tenge, and expend 3.911 trillion. GDP in the confirmed budget is expected to be 17.412 trillion tenge with 2.4% growth.

The government adjusted the 2010 budget in light of tasks laid out by the country's President Nursultan Nazarbayev in his message to the Kazakh people.

Kazakhstan's GDP amounted to 15.888 trillion tenge in 2009, 1.2% more than in 2008. GDP was confirmed in the budget for the year at 16.198 trillion, the government calculating that it would expand 0.1% from the year before. GDP expanded 3.2% in 2008 in Kazakhstan.

The Republic of Kazakhstan's budget for 2009 was implemented with a deficit of 510.946 billion tenge, or 3.1% against planned GDP for the year, according to the preliminary data. Budget revenues were 2.800 trillion tenge and expenditures 3.311 trillion tenge.

The republic's budget is the country's main financial document, and the country's state budget is based on it and regional budgets.

The official exchange rate for March 1: 147.32 tenge/$1.