World Bank cuts Armenian growth forecast to 2.6%

By bne IntelliNews November 17, 2014

The World Bank expects the Armenian economy to grow by 2.6% in 2014, down from the previous forecast of 2.7%, the Armenian news agency ARKA said on Friday citing the World Bank’s country director, Laura Bailey.

The forecast was revised downwards because of falling remittances sent home by Armenian labour migrants working in the Russian Federation, as well as because of global economic developments. In 2015 the World Bank estimates growth at 3.3%, although the forecast may be affected by negative trends in the Russian economy which Armenia heavily relies on.

The World Bank is not alone in its downwards correction. The latest IMF forecast expects the economy to grow by 2.6%, down from 4.3%; the Eurasian Development Bank’s forecast is 4.5%, down from 4.8%; Moody's prediction is  2.1%, down from 3.2% and the Asian Development Bank’s forecast is 3.8%, down from 4.6%.

In August, the Central Bank of Armenia also revised economic growth for 2014 downwards to 3.6%-4.2% from its previous forecast of 4.1%-4.8%.

Armenia is set to join the Russia-led Eurasian Customs Union on January 1, 2015. Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are members of the free-trade bloc with Kyrgyzstan due to join next year as well.

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