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Armenia’s economy minister expects the national economy to straighten up during the rest of the current year and start to grow beginning in 2010.

According to official statistics, Armenia’s Gross Domestic Product shrank by 15.7 percent year on year in the first five months of 2009 amid a deepening fallout from the global economic recession.

Nerses Yeritsian assured RFE/RL on Tuesday that the steps being taken by the government will stop the decline that has been observed in construction, one of the engines of the country’s robust growth in recent years.

Yeritsian also said these tendencies would have a positive impact on the dynamics of the rest of the economy.

The economy minister’s forecast came only a week after Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian effectively made a downward revision of his government’s earlier macroeconomic projections by saying that the Armenian economy could contract by as much as 20 percent in 2009.

But Yeritsian explained: “It is difficult to make forecasts now till the end of the year, because they depend on various factors. But according to our estimations, tendencies for a decline will stop in the second half [of this year] and in 2010 we will see a tendency for some growth.”
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