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Armenia's Economic Pulse

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  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

    Sarkisian Touts ‘Macroeconomic Stability’ In Armenia

    Emil Danielyan
    Հրապարակված է՝ 24.12.2015

    President Serzh Sarkisian has praised Armenia’s macroeconomic performance in 2015, arguing that the domestic economy has continued to grow and the national currency has only slightly depreciated over the past year despite adverse external influences.

    “The key indicators of economic developments in the first eleven months of 2015 suggest that thanks to our efforts we have succeeded in making our country’s economic environment practically immune to major shocks resulting from negative trends coming from the outside world,” he told leading Armenian businesspeople at a year-end reception hosted late on Wednesday.

    Sarkisian argued that the Armenian economy is on course to expand by more than 3 percent this year on the back of major production gains in agriculture and manufacturing, contrary to gloomy forecasts made by international lending institutions this spring. He said the growth has helped to push up the average monthly salary in the country by 8.5 percent to roughly 185,000 drams ($385). Year-on-year inflation stood at less than 2 percent in November, he stressed.

    Sarkisian went on to note the relatively stable exchange rate of the Armenian dram. The national currency weakened by 17 percent against the U.S. dollar in November-December 2014 amid a sharp fall in dollar-denominated remittances from Armenian migrant workers in Russia. The dram has only slightly depreciated since January despite a continued fall in oil prices that plunged the Russian economy into recession.

    “Of course, many countries would be happy to have such indicators, but our figures are not high in absolute terms and we therefore cannot be satisfied with them,” cautioned the president. “Armenia needs faster, long-term and sustainable growth that would not be vulnerable to negative external factors.”

    Citing the economic situation in Russia, Armenia’s leading trading partner, the International Monetary and the World Bank said early this year that the Armenian economy will barely grow or may even contract in 2015. Both institutions revised their projections upwards in the following months.

    The head of the World Bank office in Yerevan, Laura Bailey, said on Wednesday that Armenia’s Gross Domestic Product will increase by at least 3.2 percent in real terms in 2015. She forecast that growth will slow down to 2.2 percent in 2016.

    The Armenian government set the same growth target in its 2016 budget proposal approved by the parliament two weeks ago. It says that that the slower growth will translate into a slight drop in state revenue next year. And although government spending is projected to rise by over 5 percent next year the state budget does not envisage increases in public sector salaries, pensions and poverty benefits.

    Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian admitted last month that the socioeconomic situation in Armenia is unlikely to markedly improve next year. “In view of tense geopolitical developments, promising an immediate betterment of all aspects of social welfare would be a populistic but not honest approach,” he told lawmakers in Yerevan.

    Opposition politicians and other critics of the government say that economic conditions have actually worsened this year despite the official growth figures. In particular, they point to a 7 percent drop in retail and wholesale trade recorded by the National Statistical Service (NSS) in January-November.

    This explains why imports of goods to Armenia plummeted by over 26 percent in the same period. The NSS also reported a nearly 5 percent fall in Armenian exports. That was mainly attributable to the collapse of the Russian ruble and decreased international prices of copper, molybdenum and gold, a key Armenian export.

    you would have a real hard time convincing the average person in Armenia that there is any good economic news at all, but then again the average taxi driver doesn't really understand macroeconomics. A year ago it seemed like the bottom was about to fall out on our tiny republic and that Armenia might be facing economic collapse. It seemed a little ridiculous to trust the government's economic forecast of 4-5% growth versus every international institution which all predicted a recession. I don't know how much credit the government gets here. There was a lot of borrowing, and we got fortunate with the climate and the agriculture production this year, but it almost seems miraculous to see where things stands, compared to what was expected a year ago on this week after the dram had dropped 25% in a matter of days
    <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>


    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

      Armenian IT Boom Continues

      Armenia’s information technology (IT) sector continued to grow rapidly in 2015, creating many new jobs and generating about 5 percent of Gross Domestic Product, according to government data.

      Preliminary estimates by the Armenian Economy Ministry show that the combined output of some 450 IT firms operating in the country rose by nearly 20 percent to a level equivalent to roughly $550 million.

      Ministry officials dealing with IT say that the sector now employs 15,000 or so people -- 13,000 of them software developers and other hi-tech engineers. They put the number of skilled specialists working in the burgeoning industry at 11,600 a year ago.

      The IT industry expanded by an average of 22 percent annually from 2008-2014 , making it the fastest-growing sector of the Armenian economy. It accounted for only 1.7 percent of GDP in 2010.

      The sector continues to be dominated by local subsidiaries of U.S tech giants like Synopsys, National Instruments, Mentor Graphics and VMware. Several other multinational corporations have established or stepped up their presence in Armenia in the past year.

      Armenia - Taiwan's D-Link Corporation inaugurates a research and development center in Gyumri in the presence of President Serzh Sarkisian, 25May2015.
      Armenia - Taiwan's D-Link Corporation inaugurates a research and development center in Gyumri in the presence of President Serzh Sarkisian, 25May2015.
      Oracle, the world’s second largest software manufacturer, officially opened a branch in Yerevan in November 2014, while Taiwan’s D-Link Corporation, a leading manufacturer of computer networking equipment, inaugurated its newly constructed research and development center in Gyumri in May 2015.

      Growth in the export-oriented sector is also increasingly driven by homegrown Armenian companies. More than 250 of them have been set up since 2007. Some have already gained international acclaim.

      One such startup, PicsArt, solidified in 2015 its status as one of the world’s most popular mobile photo editing and sharing applications. The Yerevan-based company boasting 60 million monthly users attracted $10 million in funding from Sequoia Capital, a U.S. venture capital firm, before being included on the “Forbes” magazine’s 2015 list of the world’s 50 “hottest startups.” According to “Forbes,” PicsArt is now valued at $250 million, a huge figure by Armenian corporate standards.

      Another Armenian mobile application developer, ARLOOPA, was among more than 100 startups from around the world that took part in the 2015 Augmented World Expo held in California in June., a U.S. IT news website, rated ARLOOPA among the 9 best participants of the prestigious annual event.

      An older Armenian firm, Triada Studio, also made headlines in June after its sophisticated puzzle game called Shadowmatic won one of the Apple corporation’s annual Design Awards. Apple also added Shadowmatic to its App Store distribution platform.

      Karen Vartanian, chairman of Armenia’s Union of Information Technology Enterprises (UITE), singled out the growth of Armenian-owned firms when he discussed the sector’s 2015 performance on Monday. Speaking to the A1+ TV station, Vartanian said that they are increasingly developing their own products instead of seeking outsourcing deals with bigger Western companies. “I think this trend will continue in 2016,” he added.

      The Armenian government also recognizes the importance of startups for maintaining the high rates of IT growth in the years ahead. In December 2014, it pushed through the parliament a bill that introduced significant tax breaks for new IT firms employing up to 30 people.

      The tax breaks, valid until the end of 2019, are granted on a case-by-case basis by a special commission comprising not only government officials but also IT industry executives. According to Naira Nikoghosian, head of an Economy Ministry division dealing with the sector, 61 startups qualified for them in the course of 2015.

      “We will strive to make sure that these tax breaks are extended beyond 2019,” Nikoghosian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service ( She argued that the number of newly registered firms has increased substantially since December 2014.

      IT executives say that the sector would have grown even faster had the quality of education at the computer science departments of Armenian universities been adequate. Most of their graduates are not qualified enough to work for IT companies without undergoing additional training. There are still an estimated 2,000 job vacancies in the sector, a highly unusual phenomenon for a country that has long suffered from double-digit unemployment.

      The UITE has been trying to address this problem with extracurricular robotics and other IT classes organized by it in about 80 public schools across the country since 2008. Vartanian insisted that most students attending them will be skilled enough to work for IT firms immediately after finishing school.

      Thousands of other Armenian schoolchildren, aged 12 and over, are enrolled in Yerevan’s Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, mainly studying computer programming, robotics and animation. The state-of-the-art center, founded by U.S.-Armenian philanthropist Sam Simonian in 2011, opened branches in Gyumri and Nagorno-Karabakh’s capital Stepanakert in 2015. A Tumo branch is also expected to open its doors in Vanadzor, Armenia’s third-largest city, in 2016.

      Time to pick up the pace, learn to code and some graphic design, and go join in on the boom.


      • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

        Not a very significant development but good news

        Iraq Eyes More Armenian Imports Due to Tensions with Turkey

        YEREVAN (Azadutyun)— Iraq’s government is reportedly considering importing cooking oil from Armenia instead of Turkey because of its mounting political tensions with Ankara.

        The Reuters news agency on Thursday quoted an Iraqi official as saying that that the government will gradually cut imports of Turkish cooking oil that it supplies for free to the population under a food rationing program. “The plan is to replace Turkish oil with locally produced oil and oil from other countries,” the official said.

        The measure is meant as a protest against the deployment of Turkish troops in northern Iraq.

        Mihi vindictam ego retribuam dicit Dominus


        • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

          Public debt is at $4.81 Billion
          GDP is around $11.12 Billion
          public debt is at 43.33% of GDP

          A year ago the debt was 8.4% lower, so it stood at $4.41 Billion
          GDP was 3% lower, so it was at $10.796 Billion
          meaning debt was at 40.85% of GDP

          just a 2.48% increase is pretty good news given the significant amount of borrowing this year, and the many doom and gloom articles about government debt

          Armenia’s total public debt dropped by 0.3% in late November to $4.813 billion

          YEREVAN, January 8. / ARKA /. Armenia’s total public debt at the end of November 2015 stood at $4.813.4 billion, a decrease of 0.3% or $13.5 million from the previous month, and 8.4% higher from the beginning of the year, the National Statistical Service (NSS) said.

          According to the NSS, the external debt at the end of November 2015 was 1% down from October standing at $4.061.8 billion. Of that amount $3.578.8 billion were owed by the government, a decline of 1.3%, while the Central Bank's debt stood at $482.9 million, increasing by 1.2% from the previous month).

          The internal debt was worth $751.5 million, an increase of 4%. Of that amount about $651.6 million were owed to resident holders of government bonds.

          The debt to buyers of foreign currency denominated government bonds stood at $97.9 million. Government’s guarantees were worth $2 million-0-

          Last edited by Mher; 01-08-2016, 08:37 AM.
          <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>


          • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

            The debt/gdp ratio is a important number to follow. Debt can be big but if the GDP is growing faster then the debt then its not so bad. I think Armenia has done well considering the sanctions situation and the blockade. Having said all that it is so annoyingly old to keep saying dematsek hayer..
            Hayastan or Bust.


            • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

              Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
              ... I think Armenia has done well considering the sanctions situation and the blockade...
              You think???
              We have kicked butt causing fire under Turks and Azeris butt not understanding how its possible,lol.

              We are people of the book ...we cannot be destroyed, Turks still haven't learn that even with AG and still hope and think they can end us.

              Good news guys, I agree. Mher does a good job informing us brother Haykakan no?
              B0zkurt Hunter


              • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                Politics is not about the pursuit of morality nor what's right or wrong
                Its about self interest at personal and national level often at odds with the above.
                Great politicians pursue the National interest and small politicians personal interests


                • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                  Azerbaijan economically stays behind Armenia: Bloomberg’s economic forecast

                  Bloomberg agency published the list of countries with bad economies in 2016.

                  Azerbaijan is listed after Armenia, Estonia and Hungary among the 93 countries with bad economic rates. Bloomberg predicted 2.5% economic growth for Armenia which ranks immediately after USA with 2.5%GDP and 2.4% economic growth for Azerbaijan.

                  According to the predictions of experts, Venezuela will have the worst economic rates in 2016 which GDP will fall by 3.3% in 2016. Brazil went second place in the rankings which GDP is predicted to drop by 2.5% and Greece ranked 3rd (GDP reduction by 1.8%). Russia is listed in the 5th place in the rankings (GDP reduction by 0.5%).

                  Cana Mana get a chop?


                  • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                    Originally posted by Eddo211 View Post
                    You think???
                    We have kicked butt causing fire under Turks and Azeris butt not understanding how its possible,lol.

                    We are people of the book ...we cannot be destroyed, Turks still haven't learn that even with AG and still hope and think they can end us.

                    Good news guys, I agree. Mher does a good job informing us brother Haykakan no?
                    Yes Mher is a great example of how Armenian young men should be. He cares for his people and country and does something to help and participate. He has some illusions about the west but most people do as well. I wish him and our young generation the best of luck...they will need it.
                    Hayastan or Bust.


                    • Re: Armenia's Economic Pulse

                      thanks for the nice words guys, but the only people deserving praise are the eighteen year old kids enduring -20C nights right now, defending our front lines. Since we're not doing what they are doing, the rest of us have the responsibility to contribute to the economic and democratic progress in Armenia, so these kids can have viable employment when they do get out.
                      <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>