Uzbekistan’s economy is expected to grow by 5.0% this year and by 5.5% next year assuming a smooth coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine rollout and the rapid recovery for industry, services, investment, and private consumption continues, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a report today.
The Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2021 Update, ADB’s flagship annual economic publication, noted the country’s 6.2% growth in the first half of 2021 as industry rebounded strongly from a decline last year thanks to increases in manufacturing, mining, and quarrying. Growth in services accelerated to 8% thanks to gains in trade, transport, and storage.
“A smooth implementation of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program will be vital to protect the people of Uzbekistan, restore confidence, and underpin the promising growth we saw in the first half of this year,” said ADB Country Director for Uzbekistan Cindy Malvicini. “ADB remains fully committed to helping Uzbekistan overcome the pandemic and maintaining sustainable economic growth.”
Inflation slowed in the first half of 2021 to 10.9% from 13.9% last year. Improved food production helped to slow the rise in food prices while tariffs for electricity and gas remained unchanged. With continuing tight monetary policy and energy tariffs unlikely to change, ADB maintained its 10% and 9% inflation forecasts for 2021 and 2022, respectively.
The current account deficit widened in the first half of 2021 on rising imports of capital and intermediate goods and transport services. With imports rising significantly, ADO widened its projections for current account deficits in 2021 and 2022.