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 KAZAKHSTAN International Business Magazine №4, 2010
 Kazakhstan’s economy is demonstrating growth
Kazakhstan’s economy is demonstrating growth

Yuriy Shokamanov, PhD in economics, Professor, the Executive Secretary of the Republic of Kazakhstan Agency for Statistics

Conclusions in short of the socio-economic development in the first half of 2010 evidence, that the influence of the world financial crisis on the economy of Kazakhstan has been mainly left in the past. Growth is observed in fact in all key sectors of economy, except for financial and construction sectors.

The short term economic indicator demonstrates a growth of 8.8% in key sectors of the national economy, including agriculture, industry, construction, trade, transport and communications (table 1). The foreign trade volume in January–May of 2010 is up by 39.8% than in the same period of last year. The state budget revenues increased by 26.1% while the expenditures increased by 32.4%. The inflation rate is in the set corridor of 4.4% by December of 2009 while the real salaries and revenues of the population increased by 7.5% and 8.7% respectively in comparison to May of 2009. Kazakhstan’s indicators look very positive on the background of other CIS republics.

General socio-economic situation in CIS countries

According to CIS interstate committee for statistics (table 2), in the first quarter of 2010 economic growth was observed at 3.5% throughout the Commonwealth countries, including Russia – 2.9%, Ukraine – 4.8%, Belarus – 6.4% (January–May), Kazakhstan – 7.1%.

As a result of the first five months of 2010 the volume of industrial output in CIS increased by 11% (Russia – 10.3%, Ukraine – 12.6%, Belarus – 7.7%, Kazakhstan – 11.9%), the volume of freight transportation by the transport enterprises, not including the pipelines – by 6% (Russia – -1.5%, Ukraine – +14%, Belarus – +10.1%, Kazakhstan – +16.7%) while the retail turnover of goods increased by 4% (Russia – 2.9%, Ukraine – 1.1%, Belarus – 15.1%, Kazakhstan – 12.1%).

At the same time, the investment in fixed capital dropped by 2% in the Commonwealth, including Russia – 0.4%, Ukraine – 12.5% (in the first quarters of 2010), Kazakhstan – 5.9%. Meanwhile, Belarus reported a growth of this indicator by 0.3%.

The price indexes of the industrial output producers in CIS countries in January–May, 2010 were up by 23% to the level in the same period of the previous year, demonstrating the following growth: Russia – 21.9%, Ukraine – 20.2%, Belarus – 9.6%, Kazakhstan – 42.9%. The growth of the consumer prices increased by 7%: Russia – 6.7%, Ukraine – 10.3%, Belarus – 6.5%, Kazakhstan – 7.2%.

Economic growth

In the first quarter of 2010 Kazakhstan’s GDP grew by 7.1%, compared to the same period of the last year. At the same time, the major influence on positive dynamics was caused by industry, which contributes 31.9% to the total GDP volume, demonstrating a growth of 12.5%.

Another important contribution was trade (share in GDP – 12.1%) the volume of which also increased by 11.5%. The negative influence was caused by the financial and insurance industry – third most important sector (share in GDP – 11.7%) – it reduced by 15.5%.

By the end of the first half of 2010 the short term economic indicator reached 108.8% (table 3). At the same time, the volume of industrial output increased by 11%, agriculture – 3.1%, retail turnover of goods – 13.1%, communication services – 5.2%, the freight turnover of all types of transport – 10.1%, while the volume of construction works dropped by 3.9%.

It has to be mentioned that in the last 18 months the dynamics of the short term economic indicator shows the sustainable positive trends of economic growth rates in the basic sectors of the economy (chart 1). We may expect that by the end of this year they will continue growing and will reach at least 110%.


Since the beginning of November, 2009 through May, 2010 the volume of industrial output was exceeding the volume of the same period of previous year by 10 and more percent. Only in June this indicator reached 6.5% which is explained by the relatively high base of the previous year. In general, however, in the first half of the year the industrial output grew by 11%.

Considering the month-by-month dynamics of 2009–2010, we may expect that by the end of this year the volume of industrial output will exceed last years level by at least 12% (chart 2).

Mining industry and quarry development in the first half of the year demonstrated a growth of output by 6.3%, including an increase in crude oil and natural gas production by 6.7% (this industry contributes 84.8% to the entire volume of the mining industry), metal ore – 5.9% (8.9% respectively), coal and lignite – 7.7% (1.7%).

Processing industry reported a growth of 18.3%, including 9.7% increase in the output volume of the metallurgical industry (44.2% of the entire output of the processing industry), production of food items – 14.6% (17.7%), coke and oil processing products – 21.3% (9.6%), machine building output – 67.8% (8.1%) and beverages – 43.5% (3.9%).

The output of supply of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning grew by 8.1% in the first half of the year while production in water supply, sewerage, control of accumulation and distribution of wastes – by 7.8%.


The agricultural output increased by 3.1% in the first half of 2010. At the same time, the production volume in crop production is estimated at the level of last year while the major contribution to positive outcome is made by cattle breeding, demonstrating a 3.3% growth. Specifically, the number of cattle increased by 3.1%, horses – 4%, birds – 8.3%, at the same time, the sheep stock reduced by 0.5%, goats stock – 0.1%.


The volume of construction works in the first half dropped by 3.9%. At the same time, the lowest indicators were observed in January and February – 87.4% and 80% respectively, compared to the same months of 2009. In the following months they were fixed at 96.2% (April) and 103.8% (March). The launch of residential houses in the first half reached 2,689.9 thousand square meters, which is 8.7% less than in January–June, 2009.

Retail turnover

In the first half of the year its volume increased by 13.1%. It is mainly achieved by trade enterprises (+17.4%), contributing 55.8% to the total retail turnover. The volume of trade turnover in the markets and entrepreneurs also increased but at lesser rates (8%).

Foreign trade turnover

In January–May, 2010 the volume of foreign trade reached $34.5 billion, demonstrating a growth of 39.8%. At the same time, export reached $24.2 billion (up by 74.1%), import – $10.3 billion (down by 4.5%). As well as in the past the export commodity structure had the biggest share of mineral products (77.3%) while machines, equipment, transport units, appliances and devices dominated the import structure (36.2%).

Balance of payments

In the first quarter of 2010 the current account surplus in the balance of payments reached +$2,981.86 million while in the first quarter of the last year it was negative (-$1,151.9 million).

Direct investment operations surplus reached +$3,200.18 million (in January–March, 2009 – +$2,304.18 million), including abroad – -$91.32 million and in Kazakhstan – +$3,291.5 million.

The portfolio investment operations surplus reached +$3,983.98 million (in the first quarter of 2009 – +$3,436.19), including assets – -$822.33 million, liabilities – +$4,806.31 million.

Investment in fixed capital

In the first half of the year investment in fixed capital increased by 4.8%, reaching 1,798.2 billion tenge. At the same time, their structure by the sources of financing has changed dramatically. In the first half of 2009 foreign investment was the major sources of financing – 42.6% (this year – 27.6%) while in 2010 the top spots were taken by our own funds – 45.8% (34.5% in 2009). The state budget funds reached 19.1%, (used to be 13.1%), attracted funds – 7.5% (used to be 9.8%).

The most attractive industry for investment (as well as it was earlier) remains the mining industry and quarry development, whose share in the total investment volume reached 40.3%.

In the first half of the year investment in housing construction dropped by 0.2% from the level of the previous year and reached 136.6 billion tenge. 

Inflation, real income and salaries

In comparison with the same period of 2009 the consumer price index demonstrated a negative trend from 107.3% in January to 106.8% in June.

Therefore, we observed higher indexes of real cash income and salaries that grew in January–May by 7.5% and 3.7% respectively. Higher rates on the first indicator were reasoned by the fact that pension payments were increased by 25% since the beginning of 2010 while the salaries of government-sponsored employees were increased only in April.

Since May of this year, the average nominal cash income per capita reached 39,120 tenge, up by 16.3% than in May of 2009. At the same time, their real growth reached 8.7%.

The average monthly nominal salary of one employee reached 74,791 tenge, (+15%) in May, 2010, increasing by 7.5% in real equivalent. 

Labor market

In the first half of the year the economic activity of the population was higher than in the January–June period of the previous year by 1.7%. At the same time, the number of economically active population in June reached 8.7 million people, increasing by 132.9 thousand people or by 1.6%.

The number of employed people reached 8,172 thousand people, which is up 2.5% than in June of the last year. The number of unemployed people vice versa, dropped by 11.3% to 495.9 thousand people. The level unemployment dropped significantly to 5.7% compared to 6.6% in June of 2009.

The number of people, registered as unemployed (according to Labor and Social security Ministry) reached 69.5 thousand people in June of 2010 or 0.8% of economically active population.

Population size

In 5 months of this year the growth dynamics of the population size was higher than the level of the same period of last year due to both natural (birthrate minus mortality) and mechanical (balance of external migration) growth. Thus, the natural growth of the population reached 88,961 people (87,745 people in 2009) while the mechanical growth reached 6,133 people (798 people).

The external migration had a surplus not only with the states outside CIS (+2,484 people; in 2009 – +2,733 people), but also in the Commonwealth countries (+3,647 people, in 2009 – -1,935 people).

The migration to CIS countries reduced from 12,982 people in 5 months of 2009 to 7,627 people in January–May of this year while the migration to other states – from 856 to 646 people.

Public finance

The growth of production volume in the real sector of economy, demonstrated in the first half of the year, positively impacted the state budget revenues that, as of June 1, 2010, increased by 26.1% to 1,716.2 billion tenge. At the same time, the tax revenues increased by 24.1%, the share of which in total state budget revenues on corporate income tax (this is 30.4% of all tax revenues) increased by 20.5%, on value added tax (25.5% respectively) – by 34.7%, on individual income tax (10.9%) – by 19.5%.

The expenditures from the state budget in January–May, 2010 grew by 25.4% and reached 1,626.4 billion tenge. The budget deficit reached 77.8% billion tenge.


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