Uzbekistan’s economy will slow sharply this year because of the impact of the coronavirus, but will avoid a recession, according to the latest forecast by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) published today.
The latest edition of the EBRD Regional Economic Prospects report sees growth in Uzbekistan in 2020 of 1.5 per cent. It predicts a 6.5 per cent growth in 2021 through rebound in exports and domestic demand.
The rapid expansion of private sector lending, which was observed before the crisis, could become a source of vulnerability if social distance measures last for a long period of time, which will have negative consequences for the stability of the banking system.
Remittances from Russia, which account for about 8 percent of GDP, are expected to decline, and the tourism sector are expected to be hit hard by coronavirus pandemic, the report said.
The report added that, although China is the main destination for Uzbek exports, it accounts for only about 14 percent of total exports, and the country's overall export structure is more diversified in terms of products and markets compared to other Central Asian countries.