15 Oct 2009 16:04

EBRD revises 2009 economic forecasts for Kazakhstan

ASTANA. Oct 15 (Interfax) - The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) expects that Kazakhstan's economy will contract by 1.3% in 2009, after growth of 3.2% in 2008, EBRD says in today's press release.

EBRD's previous forecast was that the Kazakh economy would shrink 2%.

"Although Kazakhstan has now entered the third year of its banking crisis, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Some of the main banks are making progress with debt restructuring and we expect economic growth to enter into positive territory again by next year or even the end of this year," EBRD senior economist Ralph De Haas said.

The economy will turn positive again in 2010 with growth of 1.6%, EBRD said.

According to the forecasts of the Kazakh National Bank, in 2009 the republic's GDP is expected to grow 0.1-0.3%.

According to the latest calculations, GDP is going to reach 16,865.2 billion tenge this year, or up 1%.

The National Statistics Agency reported a 2.3% decrease in GDP in the first half of the year.

The Kazakh government forecasts a 2.4% growth in GDP in the draft republic's budget for the next year.