Government • 14 May, 2020

Communication services increased by 9.6% in January-April 2020

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At the government conference call chaired by Prime Minister Askar Mamin, the results of the country's socio-economic development and the implementation of the republican budget for January-April 2020 were considered. Minister of National Economy Ruslan Dalenov reported on the state of the economy.

According to the results of January-April 2020, production of goods grew by 5.8%. At the same time, production of services decreased by 4%. As a result, GDP as a whole fell by 0.2%.

As noted by Dalenov, the services sector declined due to restrictions in connection with the quarantine measures taken. Annual inflation was 6.8%.

Growth in the manufacturing sector was achieved by increasing production in the manufacturing industry by 7%, mining — by 6%, construction — by 5.5% and agriculture — by 2.2%.

At the same time, in the services sector, the volume of services in transport decreased by 11%, trade — by 8.9%, administrative services — by 4%, real estate operations — by 2.7%. Communication services increased by 9.6% in January-April 2020.

“If we consider April separately (the quarantine month), then in April 2020, compared to April 2019, the services sector decreased by 17.5%. In particular, trade and transport services decreased by a third, administrative services — by 22.5% and operations with real estate — by 9.9% in April this year compared to April last year. Such a decrease is due to restrictive quarantine measures,” said Dalenov.

In January-March 2020 foreign trade turnover amounted to $21 billion. Export increased by 4.2% to $13.9 billion, while imports fell to $7.1 billion. An increase in the surplus of the trade balance by 9% was achieved compared to the first quarter of 2019.

Industrial production increased by 5.9%. Growth is noted in 15 regions. The decrease was recorded only in the Kyzylorda region. The largest increase was shown in Kostanay (by 15.4%) and Atyrau (by 14.2%) regions. Manufacturing output is growing. The growth was 7%.

“High growth rates remained in engineering (growth by 25.4%), pharmaceuticals (by 24.2%), production of building materials (by 15.6%) and light industry (by 13.9%). In terms of regions, high growth is noted in Kostanay (by 24%), Kyzylorda (by 20.2%) and Turkistan (by 17.2%) regions,” the minister said.

The decrease occurred only in the Zhambyl and Aktobe regions. For investments in fixed assets, 13 regions showed growth. The greatest increase is noted in Turkestan and Akmola regions, as well as in the city of Nur-Sultan.

The decline was recorded in four regions. These are Atyrau and Kyzylorda regions, the cities of Shymkent and Almaty. Since the share of these regions is high, this has affected the total investment.

As Dalenov emphasized, investments in fixed assets slowed down to 0.9%. Construction increased by 5.5%. In 13 regions, growth is observed. Work is being conducted at a dynamic pace in the Turkistan and Karaganda regions.

In four regions, construction work was reduced. These are the Aktobe and Kyzylorda regions, the cities of Shymkent and Nur-Sultan.

At the same time, the production of domestic building materials is actively growing. Their output increased by 15.6%.

“Since the beginning of the year, 3.1 million square meters of housing were commissioned. Ten regions showed positive growth. The greatest growth was recorded in Almaty and Zhambyl regions. Decrease is noted in seven regions,” Dalenov informed.

At the same time, output in agriculture grew by 2.2%. In 15 regions there is a positive trend.

“Against the backdrop of protective quarantine measures, all regions showed a decrease in trade, where the bulk is SMEs. In transport, a decrease is noted in 14 regions. The decrease is mainly due to the low level of passenger traffic,” he said.

The general situation for eight economic indicators — processing, agriculture, construction, housing commissioning, transport, trade, investment, inflation is as follows.

In 10 regions, good dynamics are observed. Only 2-3 indicators out of 8 show a decrease, respectively, on the other indicators — growth.

In Kyzylorda region and the city of Shymkent, a decrease in 5 indicators was recorded. This is the construction, commissioning of housing, transport, trade and investment in fixed assets.

Given the new financing and lending measures, as well as measures to restore economic activity, central and local executive bodies need to concentrate on the following aspects.

Ensuring the restoration of economic activity, taking into account the gradual relaxation of quarantine measures;

  • Intensification of construction with an increase in Kazakhstan content within the framework of the Nurly Zher, Nurly Zhol and Employment Roadmap programs;
  • Monitoring prices for socially significant food products to take appropriate measures to prevent price increases;
  • Accelerated selection and monitoring of projects under the programs Business Roadmap-2025 and Economy of Simple Things;
  • Stimulating production through off-contract contracts in the manufacturing industry and forward transactions in the agricultural sector.
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