The Armenian economy will expand by around 4.6 percent this year in accordance with government and Central Bank projections, Economy Minister Tigran Davtian said on Tuesday.
Davtian reported strong performances in virtually all sectors of the economy and industry in particular. Armenian industrial output is on course to rise by at least 13.5 percent and account for one-fifth of Gross Domestic Product in 2011, he said.
Industry’s share in GDP stood at only 14 percent last year, according to government statistics.
Davtian insisted that the sector’s performance did not mainly result from higher international prices for non-ferrous metals, Armenia’s most important export. “We have strong growth in almost all industrial branches,” he told a news conference. “That includes mining, metallurgy, machine-building, light industry, diamond processing, information technology and other sectors. So growth here is quite diversified.”
Agriculture is another major contributor to growth. Agriculture Minister Sergo Karapetian said on Friday that output in the agricultural sector was up by 14 percent in January-November 2011.
The sector’s sharp contraction last year significantly slowed Armenia’s recovery from economic recession. The government reported a GDP growth rate of 2.6 percent in 2010.
The government and the Central Bank of Armenia expect growth to slow slightly to 4.2 percent next year. Officials in Yerevan admit, though, that fallout from renewed recession in Europe and Russia would call this target into question.
A senior official from the International Monetary Fund, Guillermo Tolosa, said earlier this month the Armenian economy is still likely to grow by about 4 percent in 2012. “But the risks associated with this target are increasing by the day,” he warned.