Armenia Adopts 2009 Budget Targeting 9.2% Growth

YEREVAN (Reuters)–The Armenian parliament on Thursday approved a state budget for 2009 forecasting robust economic growth of 9.2 percent despite fears of a slowdown from the global financial crisis.

Projected growth in the landlocked ex-Soviet republic for 2008 is 10 percent.

The budget calls for spending of 945.4 billion drams ($3.1 billion) and revenues of 905.4 billion drams. The budget deficit is projected at 1.0 percent of GDP, lower than the 2.16 percent of 2008.

The document forecasts annual inflation in 2009 in the range of 4.0 percent, unchanged from 2008. The bulk of spending is to be concentrated on the social sector.

Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan told parliament that 2009 would be challenging because of the global financial crisis, but added: "Macro-economic stability will support the country’s immunity in case of economic crisis. We will continue to provide financial stability in order to attract investment."

Per capita GDP in the country of 3.2 million people is expected to rise to $4,200 from $4,000 in 2008.

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