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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

CIS GDP growth slows to 1.2 percent in first quarter

GDP growth in the CIS countries slowed to 1.2 percent in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2013, according to a recently released report from the Eurasian Development Bank's (EBD) research department.

The deceleration follows a decline in investment activity in Russia and slower growth in Kazakhstan, according to a press release.

According to the EBD's researchers, all of the major groups of countries in the region, including oil and gas exporters, human resource exporters and countries with a diversified structure of exports, were affected, unlike in 2013.

"The situation around Ukraine continues to be the key source of risks for the economy of the region," the study said. "In spite of the limited scope of direct impact of developments in this country on its neighboring economies--in 2013, the share of Ukraine's economy in the economy of the region was 6.3 percent--the crisis in relations between Russia and Western countries resulting from those developments has led to less favorable terms of access for Russian companies to international capital markets and overall worsening of the economic uncertainty."

While economic growth in Azerbaijan slowed during the first quarter, according to the report, the country's GDP increased by 2.5 percent quarter-over-quarter, and capital inflow in the form of direct and portfolio investments increased during the period.

Belarus demonstrated positive, albeit small, GDP growth of 0.5 percent compared to the same period of 2013, though economic performance was uneven, with retail and wholesale trade growing by 13.1 percent and 10.4 percent, respectively. Industrial output, however, dropped by 3.4 percent.

Moldova saw continued economic growth, with its GDP growing by 3.6 percent, while Kyrgyzstan's growth slowed down to 5.6 percent and Kazakhstan's growth decelerated by 3.8 percent.