Azeri Economy Grew 0.7% in January-May as Oil Output Fell

Azerbaijan’s economy grew 0.7 percent in the first five months of 2012 even as oil production continued to fall for at least the fifth straight quarter.

The Caspian Sea nation pumped 18.5 million metric tons of oil in the January-May period, a decline of 7.5 percent from a year earlier, the State Statistics Committee in Baku said on its website today. Production fell 10.2 percent in 2011 to 45.6 million tons from a year earlier.

Production of marketable gas increased 8.5 percent to 7.4 billion cubic meters in the first five months, the statistics office said. Inflation accelerated to 2.5 percent from the end of last year as food prices rose, the committee said.

Azerbaijan’s inflation rate was 7.9 percent last year, and the central bank expects consumer price growth will remain below 10 percent this year as well.

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