IMF concludes visit to Uzbekistan
Discussions also focused on preparations for the next Article IV Consultation, tentatively scheduled for spring 2014.
"Despite the deterioration in the global environment, the economy of Uzbekistan continued to grow rapidly. Strong fiscal and external positions, a stable banking system, and low public debt continue contributing to robust macroeconomic performance," Veronica Bacalu, who led the delegation, said. "Real GDP growth was maintained at 8 percent in the first half of 2013, supported by the state-led modernization investment program. Exports of goods and services rose by 12 percent. Despite rapid import growth spurred by capital goods, the current account surplus increased marginally and international reserves remained high.
"The near-term economic outlook is favorable and the prevailing downside risks remain manageable. Despite deteriorating external environment, economic growth is projected to surpass 7 percent in 2013-14, supported by the government's large-scale modernization investment program," Bacalu said. "Going forward, reducing inflation remains a key priority of macroeconomic policy. Lowering inflation sustainably to single digits requires coordinated efforts in the conduct of monetary, fiscal and foreign exchange policy. The authorities should tighten monetary policy, avoid fiscal loosening, and increase the exchange rate flexibility."