Armenia’s economy grew by around 6.7 percent last year after stagnating in 2016, the Finance Ministry said on Friday.
Finance Minister Vartan Aramian and other senior ministry officials presented preliminary macroeconomic data for 2017 at a meeting with Prime Minister that focused on the economic situation in the country.
The Armenian government had forecast a 3.2 percent growth rate for 2017 more than a year ago. It revised that target upwards to 4.3 percent in September.
In its World Economic Outlook released in October, the International Monetary Fund said that Armenian growth will reach 3.5 percent. For its part, the World Bank said earlier this month that the Armenian economy was on course to expand by 3.7 percent in 2017.
According to a government statement on Friday’s meeting, the Finance Ministry leadership attributed the 6.7 percent growth estimate to the better-than-expected performances of the services and construction sectors. It also cited a 7.3 percent rise in the government’s 2017 tax revenue and a 13.4 percent surge in cash remittances from abroad.
Karapetian told the ministry officials that 2018 will be an “extremely important” year for the domestic economy. “This year we must lay the groundwork for long-term sustainable growth and [growing] capital and other spending,” he said, according to the statement.
In its policy program approved by the Armenian parliament in June, Karapetian’s cabinet committed itself to achieving an annual growth rate of around 5 percent in 2017-2022. The program describes rising exports as “the key engine” of that growth, saying that the government will strive to facilitate Armenian manufacturers’ access to Russia, the EU and other foreign markets.
Official statistics show that Armenian exports soared by 23.5 percent in 2017.