Kazakhstan: GDP growth records highest reading in two years
According to a preliminary reading, annual GDP growth improved to 4.0% in Q4 2021, up from 3.6% in January–September. Moreover, the print also marked a rebound from 2020’s 2.5% contraction.
The acceleration was broad-based, with both the services and industry sectors gaining steam in Q4. Among key subsectors, information and communication, and construction recorded significant growth. However, agricultural production fell, contrasting the expansions logged in Q1–Q3 of last year and in 2020.
Moving on to this year, headwinds are expected to be suppressing the economy. January’s internet shutdown likely disrupted the services sector. Notably, retail sales collapsed in the month, and industrial output also lost momentum amid lower electricity production, the effects of which were aggravated as cryptocurrency mining put increased pressure on the grid. Meanwhile, the eruption of war in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Russia are disrupting some of the country’s energy exports, which go through Russian ports. That said, spiking energy prices bode well for the government’s coffers. In addition, both manufacturing and services PMIs reflected a rebound in conditions in February.