The central bank continued to intervene in the foreign exchange
market with the aim of depreciating the local currency—the sum—to
promote competitiveness. By year-end the sum had depreciated by almost
10% against the dollar.
Fiscal policy remained broadly unchanged in 2012. The consolidated
luding large surpluses from the FRD, is again estimated
to have recorded an overall surplus, equal to 3.1% of GDP. Revenue
gains from historically high prices for key export commodities (mainly
precious metals) and improved tax administration offset expenditures
to cover wage and pension increases and higher social outlays. Revenues
equaled 36.7% of GDP and expenditures 33.6% (Figure 3.8.3).
The current account surplus narrowed to an estimated 4.7% of GDP
from 8.1% in 2011 as the trade surplus decreased (Figure 3.8.4).
Exports of goods and services declined by 5.1%, reflecting weaker
external demand and declines in international prices for Uzbekistan’s
major export commodities: cotton, copper, and natural gas. Exports
of cotton, foodstuffs, chemical, metals, and machinery all fell in 2012.
However, an 81% rise in exports of energy products, primarily natural gas,
limited the overall decline in exports.
Imports of goods and services rose by 9%, as continued state-led
infrastructure development and industrial modernization required more
imports of capital goods and services. Remittances and compensation
from abroad, included in the income account, grew sharply, particularly
from the Russian Federation, which totaled $5.6 billion. This was the
highest amount since independence, reflecting strong demand for
construction labor (Figure 3.8.5).
The government reported foreign investment inflows of $2.5 billion,
mainly into oil and gas, petrochemicals, and automobile manufacturing.
External debt is estimated to have increased modestly to 17.8% of
GDP at the end of 2012 from 17.4% at the end of 2011, as the public
investment program is increasingly being financed by foreign loans
Sources: National Bank of Uzbekistan - http://www.nbu.com/ , International Monetary Fund; ADB estimates .
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