YEREVAN, February 7. / ARKA /. Armenian economy expanded 3.5 % in 2013 (down from the government projection of 6.2 percent), while the inflation rose by 5.6 % (down from projected 4% (±1.5%) , finance minister David Sargsyan said at the opening of a conference on Armenian capital market, opportunities and challenges in the resort town of Tsakhkadzor.
He said although the GDP growth was down from 7.2% in 2012, on the other hand it was ‘a great achievement’ in the context of the overall situation in the region.
According to the minister, the forecasts for 2013 were more optimistic than the situation itself throughout the year, especially in Russia, a key partner of Armenia, whose economy grew by 1.5%, down from the projected 3.5-4%. He said Armenia’s economy was also affected by developments in the eurozone, where the year ended with negative economic indicators.
Another challenge for the Armenian economy in 2013 was the rise in prices of natural gas and electricity by 18% and 26% respectively that surged consumer prices by 9.3 % in July.
Regarding the budget deficit, the minister said it was 1.6% instead of the planned 2.6 %, while the deficit of current balance of payments is expected to be 8.5 % of the GDP. He also said the taxes to GDP ratio last year rose by 1.3 percentage point from 2012 to 23.4%.
The focus of the conference in Tsakhkadozr was on Armenia’s capital markets. It was jointly organized by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and NASDAQ OMX Armenia, with support from the Central Bank of Armenia. The event brought together over 100 participants from private companies, as well as government officials and other stakeholders, to discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with building robust capital markets in Armenia. -0-