Kazakhstan Cuts 2012 GDP Forecast to 5.4% as Metal Exports Slump
Kazakhstan lowered its forecast for economic growth this year as demand wanes for the central Asian country’s exports of metals, Economic Development and Trade Minister Erbolat Dosayev said.
Gross domestic product will probably expand 5.4 percent this year, less than the previous forecast for 5.8 percent, Dosayev said today at a government meeting in the Kazakh capital, Astana. President Nursultan Nazarbayev predicted 7 percent expansion on May 23.
A slowdown in China and Europe’s sovereign debt crisis are throttling demand for commodities, the mainstay of the economy of the second-largest oil producer in the former Soviet Union after Russia. The ministry revised its projection after prices of uranium, copper, aluminum and zinc dropped by 19 percent or more in the first eight months from 2011. GDP rose 5.2 percent in the January-September period from a year earlier, Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov said today.
Kazakh industrial output may grow 2.7 percent in 2012, 0.9 percentage point less than previously forecast, according to the Economic Development and Trade Ministry. Industrial production expanded 0.5 percent in January through September from a year earlier.
Budget revenue will probably be 383 billion tenge ($2.5 billion) less than planned in 2012, widening the budget deficit to 983.1 billion tenge, or 3.1 percent of economic output, from 779.8 billion tenge, according to the ministry.
A poor grain harvest is also affecting the Kazakh economy. The harvest may shrink to 12 million metric tons after drying and cleaning this year, down from a record 26.9 million tons last year, according to the Agriculture Ministry. Grain exports may fall to 8 million metric tons from a previous target of 10 million tons.
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