ASTANA. April 21. KAZINFORM. /Aigul Tulekbayeva/ The first quarter of 2009 is characterized by a difficult macroeconomic situation in the world and in Kazakhstan. Kazakh Minister of Economy and Budget Planning Bakhyt Sultanov has made it public at the Government’s sitting on the results of socio-economic development for the first three months of 2009.According to the experts, real GDP growth decreased by 5.9% in the USA, 1.9% in Euro zone, 1.5% in Britain and 7% in Russia. “Decline of the external demand as a result of recession in most states, drop in prices for Kazakhstan’s export, cut of production volumes lead to setback in Kazakhstan’s production”, the Minister said. According to the Ministry’s forecast, Kazakhstan’s GDP decreased by 2% in the first quarter of 2009. Among the factors hindering economic development B. Sultanov named drop in industrial production (4.6%) and metallurgical production (15.3%) as well as drop in sale of food and engineering products. The Minister noted that only Atyrau and South Kazakhstan regions maintained production output at the previous level. He also noted positive dynamics in agriculture where the volume of gross production amounted to KZT 134.9 billion, i.e. it increased by 3.6%.