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Economic growth in Armenia accelerated to 4.6 percent last year in line with government projections, according to official GDP statistics released this week.

The Armenian economy expanded by over 2 percent in 2010 following a sharp downturn in 2009 caused by a global financial crisis.

The latest macroeconomic data from the National Statistical Service (NSS) shows that its faster growth in 2011 was mainly driven by the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. Industrial output rose by 14 percent and accounted for more than one-quarter of Armenia’s GDP worth 3.82 trillion drams (about $10 billion).

According to the NSS, growth in agricultural production was just as fast largely owing to relatively favorable weather conditions. The sector’s share in the economy reached about 22 percent as a result.

The 2011 growth would have been faster without a further double-digit drop in construction. The Armenian construction industry is still reeling from the 2009 recession.

The Armenian government expects the economy to grow at a slightly slower rate, 4.2 percent, this year. Government officials acknowledge, though, that the uncertain global economic outlook could translate into a more sluggish growth.

The International Monetary Fund last week revised downwards its growth projection for Armenia. A senior IMF official said in Yerevan that growth will likely slow to 3.8 percent in 2012 “against the backdrop of weak external environment.”

The NSS has reported strong gains in industrial and agricultural outputs as well as services in January and February.
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