YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia’s ongoing economic recovery accelerated further in April, with Gross Domestic Product increasing by 7.2 percent year on year during the first four months of this year, according to official statistics released on Thursday.
The growth rate reported by the National Statistical Service (NSS) is up from the first-quarter level of 5.5 percent and well above conservative projections made by the Armenian authorities late last year.
As was the case in the previous months, economic activity in the country was primarily boosted by industrial output, which was up by almost 13 percent during the four-month period. The industrial sector has in turn greatly benefited from increased international prices of copper and other non-ferrous metals, Armenia’s most important export item.
The NSS also registered growth in construction for the first time since the fall of 2008. The construction sector has born the brunt of the global recession, contracting by over 30 percent last year. Output in the sector rose by 8.8 percent in January-April 2010.
“It is obvious that our anti-crisis measures have already produced positive results and growth in industrial output is gaining quite a lot of momentum,” Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian said, commenting on the latest macroeconomic data at a weekly session of his cabinet.
“We should now concentrate on economic growth in 2011, on what measures we must take to maintain these high growth rates in 2011-2012,” Sarkisian told government ministers.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday that the Armenian authorities have pledged to improve tax administration and the broader business environment, promote the development of financial services, boost social spending and keep inflation under control. The IMF singled out tax reforms as a key prerequisite for sustainable growth.
The Armenian economy contracted by 14.4 percent in 2009 after more than a decade of robust growth.