YEREVAN, September 19. / ARKA /. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Mr. Mark Horton visited Yerevan during September 5–18 to conduct initial discussions on a possible new IMF arrangement with Armenia, the IMF said in a press release provided to ARKA. It said the mission met with Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, Minister of Finance David Sargsyan, Central Bank Chairman Artur Javadyan, Minister of Economy Vahram Avanesyan, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Armen Movsisyan, Minister of Transport and Communications Gagik Beglaryan, Minister-Chief of Staff of the Government Vache Gabrielyan, and Chief Adviser to the President Aram Garibyan, as well as other senior government officials, representatives of the international community, and the banking and business sectors. At the conclusion of the visit, Mr. Horton issued the following statement:
“Discussions were productive and there was progress on policies and actions for the rest of 2013 and 2014–16. Further discussions are expected in Washington, DC, during the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank in October,’ the IMF said in a statement.
“Activity is moderating in 2013, from the rapid pace of 2012 reflecting weaker external demand, including from regional economies, a tighter-than-expected fiscal position, and slower credit growth. The increase in gas and electricity prices in July is likely to slow activity. Growth is expected to be below 4 percent in 2013, but to rise gradually to 5 percent in the medium term, predicated on strong structural reforms, greater regional integration, and enhanced public, private, and foreign investment. Higher food and energy prices have driven inflation above the central bank’s (CBA’s) target band (4±1.5 percent). Inflation is likely to remain elevated for the next few months, but return to the target range in 2014, reflecting Armenia’s well-anchored inflationary expectations and the CBA’s recent increase of the policy rate,’ it said. -0-