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Fitch: Azerbaijan’s GDP to grow in 2017

International ratings agency Fitch expects Azerbaijan’s GDP growth to be at the level of 1.5 percent in 2017, says Paul Gamble, senior director at Fitch’s Sovereign Ratings Group.

Gamble made the remarks at the 5th Azerbaijan Annual Event in Baku on Apr. 13.

In 2017, Azerbaijan’s GDP growth will be 1.5 percent, and starting from 2018, the growth rate will gradually increase and reach 4 percent within a couple of years, said Gamble.

He added that Azerbaijan will have a double-digit inflation in 2016, but starting from 2017, Fitch expects a gradual decline in inflation in the country.

According to Fitch forecasts, inflation in Azerbaijan will amount to 11 percent, but will drop to 7 percent in 2017, said Gamble.

Fitch also expects the current account surplus in 2016 to amount to 6.2 percent and 5.6 percent in 2017, he added.

Azerbaijan’s Finance Minister Samir Sharifov said earlier that inflation in Azerbaijan in 2016 is forecast to be at 10 to 12 percent.

Inflation in the country in 2015 amounted to 4 percent, according to him.

Gamble also said GDP growth and inflation decrease can be achieved thanks to the expected oil prices’ balance around $35 to $45 in the next two years.

Fitch’s data make it possible to say that though now supply still exceeds demand on the market, the growth of supply gradually falls, added Gamble.

All this suggests that oil prices will begin to grow by late 2016 or early 2017, according to him.

Fitch currently expects the cost of Brent crude oil in 2016 to be $35 per barrel, and then rise to $45 per barrel in 2017 and $65 per barrel in the long term.

Source: Trend