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Armenian Government Sticks To 2012 Growth Forecast


Armenia - Finance Minister Vache Gabrielian speaks at a news conference, 2Feb2012.

Armenia - Finance Minister Vache Gabrielian speaks at a news conference, 2Feb2012.

The Armenian government has no plans yet to revise downward its macroeconomic outlook for this year despite possible spillover effects of Europe’s financial troubles on the country, Finance Minister Vache Gabrielian said on Thursday.

“Right now we are not preparing to revise the state budget because our fiscal performance in January was very satisfactory,” said Gabrielian. “In that sense, economic growth indicators are also not giving us cause for concern.”

“Having said that, I have already pointed out that there are considerable macroeconomic risks that are especially emanating from the euro zone and could reach Armenia from Russia,” he told a news conference. “But at the moment we see no need for a substantial revision because we believe that those problems may not materialize.”

Gabrielian sounded a similar note of caution before the government pushed its controversial 2012 budget through parliament in December. The spending bill calls for a 13 percent rise in tax revenues which should be primarily generated by 4.2 percent economic growth forecast by the government.

Analysts say a deepening of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis could again thrust the global economy into recession. In that case, Armenia would be specifically hit by a drop in international metal prices and vital remittances from Armenians working in Russia and other countries.

The head of Armenia’s State Revenue Committee (SRC), Gagik Khachatrian, has openly questioned the government’s 2012 revenue target. Still, his deputy Armen Alaverdian said last month that the SRC will do its best to collect 874.4 billion drams ($2.3 billion) projected by the budget. Alaverdian said over 80 percent of this sum will be paid by more than 3,000 large and medium-sized firms.
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