Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   16 December

Economist considers nearly 7% economic growth forecast completely realistic

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 1, ARMENPRESS. The 7.7% economic activity rate of Armenia in late 2017 makes realistic the prediction of 6.7% economic growth for 2017, economist Atom Margaryan – head of the Innovation and Institutional Research Center, told Armenpress.

“The economic activity rate is really an unprecedented, I think it’s quite realistic that the economic growth rate to be released by late March will be in accordance with the assessment made by the finance ministry, that is 6.7%”, the economist said.

According to him, not only the double-digit increasing figures in trade, services fields, but also the 2.2% increase in construction contributed to the economic activity growth. “Finally, the construction field has come out from the long-term stagnation stage. Unfortunately, the agriculture field still creates problems and concluded the previous year by 3% decline”, Atom Margaryan said.

As for the 25.3% growth in export, the economist said the high prices of copper in the international market, as well as the activeness in reprocessing industry fields played a key role in this. “I would also highlight the field of food industry, brandy, tobacco production and export, the export of textile and meat products”, he said.

He said regardless of criticizing the Eurasian format, the processes happening there directly impact Armenia’s economy. “If the Russian economy recovers, and this is so since Russia’s economic growth is assessed nearly 2%, the demand for Armenian goods also recovers”, the economist stated.

As for the European direction, Atom Margaryan said it is irreplaceable in terms of ensuring high share and production corresponding to high technological standards. However, here the economist considers a problematic issue the strengthening of Euro against dollar, as well as the institutional and legislative issues which need to be settled. “In 2017 the Euro has strengthened by 15% against dollar, this is so-called bad news for the exporters to the European market. Thus, by taking into account these issues, we should try to solve the export issue by fewer expenses”, the economist stated.

He also urges not to ignore the issue of growth inclusion. “In the recent years this is being talked about by the experts of the Davos World Economic Forum. In particular, they proposed to consider 11 more figures in the inclusive development index, in addition to gross domestic product. These relate to equal distribution of revenues, education issues, average life expectancy and environment parameters. The world more broadly assesses the economic growth and its impacts”, he said, adding that the growth should be replaced by welfare for everyone.

He stated that the economic growth should not further deepen the gap between the rich and the poor, it should lead to formation of a centralized society.

Ani Nazaryan



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