YEREVAN, March 21. / ARKA /. Armenia’s economic activity index in the first two months of 2014 dropped to 2.4 percent from 8 percent in the first two months last year, Zhamanak (Time) daily says in its today’s issue citing the official numbers of the National Statistical Service. The daily does not expect any significant rise in economic activity index in the next 2-3 months either.
According to it, some sectors of the Armenian economy saw a change trend. In particular, the construction industry rose by 1.2 percent in January and February this year, for the first time since 2008, but the industrial output slashed by 4.1%. As for agriculture, it grew by f 4.9 percent.
Electricity production fell by 4.4% because less natural gas arrived in Armenia from Iran for production of electricity which is shipped back to Tehran.
According to the newspaper, Armenian exports in the first two months decreased by 3.2%, and imports fell by 6.7%. As a result, foreign trade turnover was less 5.8% year-on-year. The newspaper also writes that in January and February this year the average monthly salary increased by 6.5 percent to 156,300 drams, however, a 5.1 percent inflation slashed the real rise to 1.4 percent.
The daily suggests that economic problems in Russia together with anticipated consequences of sanctions imposed on it by the West are likely to be felt in May and June.
This means, Armenia’s macroeconomic data for the first months of this year will be modest , but in the middle of the year, it will also feel h the consequences of the deteriorating Russian economy that would affect also Armenia’s key indicators making the 3.5 percent economic expansion last year seem quite good and desirable. -0-