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Kazakhstan: Astana Comes Clean on Economic Rout

Kazakhstan has slashed its growth forecast for this year, finally acknowledging the scale of damage wrought to its economy by the slump in the price for its main export commodity.

The government now predicts that the economy will expand by 0.5 percent in 2016, down from its previous forecast of 2.1 percent, National Economy Minister Yerbolat Dosayev said on February 23.

The projection has been revised because of low oil prices, he said in remarks quoted by the Kazinform news agency. Still, Dosayev said the government was hopeful growth would still be “in the positive zone.”

Others are less optimistic.

Standard and Poor’s ratings agency released a forecast last week predicting zero growth, while the London-based Economist Intelligence Unit think-tank believes the economy will actually shrink this year for the first time since 1998, by 2 percent.

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Kazakhstan: Astana Comes Clean on Economic Rout

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