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Government Official Explains PM’s Economic Growth Statement


Armenia - Deputy Prime Minister Vache Gabrielian at a news conference in Yerevan (archieve photo).

Armenia - Deputy Prime Minister Vache Gabrielian at a news conference in Yerevan (archieve photo).

Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian made an estimate when he spoke about a 4.5-percent economic growth in the first half of this year, his deputy Vache Gabrielian explained on Friday.

During a visit to Gyumri last Saturday Abrahamian downplayed the impact of the falling tax revenues in January-June on prospects of annual economic growth. He said that all sectors of the economy, except for retail trade, expanded during the first six month of the year and that Armenia was well on track to meet the economic growth target of 4.1 percent in 2015.

“I think in this case the prime minister only made an estimate,” Gabrielian said during a news briefing today.

Speaking at a government meeting on Thursday, Gabrielian said that economic growth indices for the first half of the year will be clear only in September.

“The report of the National Statistical Service shows that during the first six months of 2015 the economic activity index was 4.2 percent, that is, we have economic growth, but it is not an indicator of economic growth, it will be clear later, in September,” the deputy prime minister said.

Gabrielian explained that executive authorities always give estimates on economic growth that cannot be treated as official. “Only the National Statistical Service can give the official indicator. Now in this case the prime minister made the estimation, which was given by our ministries. These estimates are based on the results of the first six months as well as the calculations made on this basis by concrete ministries,” Gabrielian said.

Hayk Gevorkian, an economic analyst writing for the pro-opposition Haykakan Zhamanak daily, meanwhile, has expressed doubts that Armenia can even show flat growth by the end of the year.

“Everyone understands that even the possibility of a zero growth is very doubtful in Armenia. The question here is what makes the government speak about such [inflated] figures all the time,” he commented.

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