The International Monetary Fund offered a cautiously positive economic outlook for Armenia as it announced the release of $50.7 million in fresh loan tranches to the authorities in Yerevan on Monday.
The two installments are part of a three-year lending program for the country worth $404 million that was launched by the IMF in June 2010. Their disbursement raised to almost $270 million the total amount of low-interest funds allocated to the Armenian government and Central Bank under that scheme.
In a written statement, the IMF praised the Armenian authorities for adhering to macroeconomic policies favored by the Washington-based fund. It said that they have translated into “solid growth” and falling inflation.
“The outlook for 2012 and the medium-term is positive, but not without risks, particularly stemming from Europe and affecting Armenia via Russia,” read the statement. “Growth picked up to 4.6 percent in 2011, but is expected to moderate to just below 4 percent in 2012.”
The IMF also praised the authorities for slashing the state budget deficit last year and planning to keep it under control in 2012. “The authorities plan to implement further business environment and tax and pension reform measures,” added the fund. “Together with enhanced exchange rate flexibility, these actions should improve productivity and support growth and diversification of exports.”