ADB Raises 2013 Growth Outlook for Tajikistan

DUSHANBE, TAJIKISTAN – In an update of its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook 2013, released today, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) upgraded its 2013 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for Tajikistan to 7.0% from 6.5% seen in April. For 2014, growth projection remains unchanged at 6.0%. In 2012, growth reached 7.5%.

Fueled by remittances, retail trade and services continue to be the main drivers of growth, rising by 13.2% and 8.4% in the first half of 2013, respectively.

“The economy has achieved robust growth, but remains vulnerable because of heavy reliance on remittances,” said Asel Chyngysheva, Officer-in-Charge of ADB’s Tajikistan Resident Mission. “More diversified industry and agriculture, and a booming private sector will result in more sustainable economic growth.”

Average inflation rose slightly to 6.2% in the first half of 2013, higher than in the same period of 2012. However, a stable exchange rate has helped to moderate inflationary expectations, and the authorities remain committed to prudent fiscal and monetary policies, so the inflation rate forecast remains at 6.5% in 2013 and 7.0% in 2014, as projected earlier.

The report further says that exports shrank at an annual rate of 8.6% during the first half of 2013, dragged down mainly by lower aluminum and cotton earnings, while higher remittances helped boost imports by 8.7%. Import growth and continued high remittance inflows will help to ease the current account deficit during the second half of the year. Accordingly, the current account deficit is now expected to narrow to 4.5% in 2013 and to 4.0% in 2014, down from earlier projections of 5.0% and 4.8%, respectively.

The Asian Development Outlook and Asian Development Outlook Update are ADB’s flagship economic reports analyzing economic conditions and prospects in Asia and the Pacific, and are usually issued in April and October, respectively.

Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998 and, to date, the institution has approved total assistance of around $1.1 billion in concessional loans, grants, and technical assistance to the country. ADB’s operations benefit the population by reducing isolation, increasing communication, broadening access to electricity, improving social services, and creating more income-generating opportunities.