Kazakhstan macro: economy to strengthen in 2023 in the aftermath of steady growth in 2022

KAZAKHSTAN - Report 20 Jan 2023 by Evgeny Gavrilenkov and Alexander Kudrin

The Bureau of National Statistics reported that the Kazakh economy performed quite well in 2022. It weathered several storms, such as protests in the early year, high exchange rate volatility in March-April triggered by Russia’s military activity in Ukraine, CPC disruption, and maintenance works on the country’s two main oil fields. The Bureau reported that the short-term indicator (a monthly proxy of economic activity that includes six sectors covering over 60% of the national economy) grew by 3.5% in 2022. December statistics hint that GDP may likely have increased in Kazakhstan well above 3% in 2022, which is not a bad result and sets a strong base for growth in 2023.

Meanwhile, the National Bank of Kazakhstan mentioned in the recent statement that followed its decision to keep the base rate unchanged at 16.75% that the country’s GDP had probably increased by 3.1% in 2022. Last year, GDP probably grew even more, as many statistical inconsistencies indicate that some sectors of the Kazakh economy grew over some periods in 2022 faster than reported. Putting together the available statistics on the sectors included in the short-term indicator, one cannot rule out that the short-term indicator may have grown somewhat, by 3.7-3.8% in 2022, while Kazakhstan’s GDP increased in 2022 by 3.3%-3.4%. This result is not bad given the uneasy and volatile 2022 and sets up a good trajectory for economic growth in 2023, which can exceed 4.0%.

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