The government has revised downwards its growth projections for the Armenian economy, confirming that it will fail to meet a 7 percent target that was set by President Serzh Sarkisian earlier this year.
Economy Minister VahramAvanesian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) that the government expects the economy to expand by only 4.2 percent this year. He declined to comment further.
The growth forecast is in line with recent projections made by international lending institutions. The International Monetary Fund said in September that GDP growth will come in at below 4 percent in 2013. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) came up with a gloomier outlook in a report released on Wednesday, predicting a 2.5 percent growth for Armenia.
Avanesian disagreed with the EBRD forecast. “Our projection is [a growth rate of] 4.2 percent,” he said.
The minister refused to comment on far more ambitious growth targets which President Sarkisian publicly set after shortly winning a second term in office.
“An Armenian government that does not ensure 7 percent economic growth in 2013-2017 must resign,” the president told journalists on March 18. He likewise told his newly reshuffled cabinet in May to make sure that the GDP growth rate does not fall below 7 percent in 2013.