On Jan. 26, the S&P revised its outlook on the long-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Azerbaijan to stable from negative. At the same time, the agency affirmed the ratings at ‘BB+/B’.
S&P expects Azerbaijan’s economy to grow 2.7% in 2018 and 3.5% in 2019, 2020 and 2021. “We expect economic dynamics to gradually shift over the next few years,” the report said. “In particular, we forecast average growth of 3.3% through 2021. Completion is approaching for the large Shah Deniz II gas field project which will see Azerbaijani gas delivered first to Turkey and then to Europe. Elevated investment ahead of the SDII launch and a pickup in gas exports after that should benefit economic performance.
“We have now revised our estimates of State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan’s liquid assets, excluding from our calculations exposures that might be hard to liquidate in a downside scenario, such as the fund’s domestic investments and foreign equity exposures. We estimate last year’s general government deficit amounted to 1.5% of GDP,” the report said.
Azerbaijan’s nominal GDP will continue to grow and by 2021 will increase from 70 billion manats ($41 billion) to 99 billion manats ($52 billion), the report noted.
According to S&P analysts, GDP per capita will be $4,600 in Azerbaijan in 2018, $4,800 in 2019, $5,000 in 2020 and $5,100 in 2021.
The agency also expects inflation rate to fall in Azerbaijan to 5% by 2021. The S&P forecasts 8% inflation in 2018 and 5% in the next three years.
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