Armenia Economic Outlook
National accounts data revealed that annual economic growth slowed to 12.8% in Q4 from Q3’s 14.8%. Private consumption growth weakened, likely due to fading demand from the recent wave of Russian migrants. On the flip side, public spending accelerated, while fixed investment picked up despite higher interest rates. In Q1, high-frequency data suggests that momentum is cooling further. Economic activity ticked down in January, as growth in both industrial output and retail sales weakened. On 10 February, Fitch Ratings affirmed the country’s B+ rating and upgraded the outlook to positive, citing robust growth and healthier external finances. Meanwhile, despite an International Court of Justice ruling to allow free movement and the mediation of the Russian President, the Lachin corridor—a key road between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in neighboring Azerbaijan—remained blocked in February.
Inflation was unchanged at 8.1% in February. Softer rises in prices for housing and utilities, as well as transportation, offset faster increases in food and clothing prices. Lower inflation in recent months, coupled with slowing regional and global economic activity, led the Central Bank to hold rates at 10.75% at its 31 January meeting.