IMF sees Uzbekistan's economic growth picking up

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, March 5, 2019
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TASHKENT, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan's economic growth is expected to pick up to 5.5 percent this year and accelerate further to 6.0 percent in 2020 from last year's 5.0 percent, mainly thanks to strong investment, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday.

"We have seen lots of investment in 2018. Imports of capital goods in 2018 increased to 7.5 billion U.S. dollars, that's 3 billion more than in the year before," Albert Jaeger, chief of the IMF mission to assess the well-being of the Uzbek economy.

The positive forecast by the IMF for 2019 was due to higher investment as well as effects of tax reforms the Central Asian nation introduced, Jaeger said.

Nevertheless, the IMF mission also warned about the "relatively high inflation rate," at about 15 percent, though it was not surprising for a transition economy in the process of liberalizing prices.

The IMF also warned of potential risks for Uzbekistan such as a drop in commodity prices and demand for Uzbek exports as well as credit growth, which could overheat the economy and cause a boom-bust cycle.

Mamarizo Nurmuratov, chairman of the Uzbekistan Central Bank, said that the Uzbek side has discussed the country's reform program with the IMF mission. The reform program will include efforts to contain inflation at around 13.5-15 percent and curb annual credit growth by capping it at 25 percent in 2019.

Uzbekistan has been reforming its centralized economy since President Shavkat Mirziyoyev came into power in 2016. Enditem

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