Armenia's government approves 2017 budget draft with smaller deficit

By bne IntelliNews September 30, 2016

The Armenian government has approved the draft budget for 2017 that envisages a 23.8% reduction in the deficit to AMD150.1bn (€280mn), Arka news agency reported on September 29

An oil and gas importer, Armenia has grappled with budget deficits for many years. Financing deficits from foreign sources has led to a gradual but sustained increase in the country's public debt, which will reach 54.4% of GDP by the end of the year, according to Vardan Aramyan, the country's the newly-appointed finance minister.

Next year's budget spending is projected at AMD1.36tn and revenues at AMD1.21tn, over 93% of which would come from taxes.

The draft state budget was based on expectations GDP will expand 3.2% in 2017, accelerating from a 2.4% hike expected for 2016. Next year's growth will be supported by industry (5% increase in output), agriculture (4%) and services (2%). Consumer price inflation is seen at 4% in 2017.  

“The main objective is to improve the business environment, for which we need to ensure macroeconomic stability. That will be our main task for 2017 and consequently, as a result of the implementation of all envisaged steps we will be able to achieve the projected targets,” Aramyan told a news conference on September 29, according to Arka.

The draft will be passed on to the parliament before it is voted into law. 

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