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Armenian Growth Further Accelerates In April

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian

YEREVAN -- Official statistics show that Armenia's ongoing economic recovery accelerated further in April, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Gross domestic product increased by 7.2 percent during the first four months of 2010 compared to the same period last year.

The growth rate reported on May 20 by the National Statistical Service (NSS) is up from the first-quarter level of 5.5 percent and well above
conservative projections made by Armenian authorities late last year.

As was the case in previous months, economic activity was primarily boosted by industrial output, which was up almost 13 percent during the four-month period. The industrial sector has in turn benefited from increased international prices for copper and other nonferrous metals, Armenia's most important export items.

The NSS also registered growth in construction for the first time since the fall of 2008. The construction sector bore the brunt of the global recession, contracting over 30 percent last year. Output in the sector rose by 8.8 percent between January and April 2010.

"It is obvious that our anticrisis measures have already produced positive results and growth in industrial output is gaining quite a lot of momentum," Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian said at a weekly cabinet meeting.

The Armenian economy contracted by 14.4 percent in 2009 after more than a decade of robust growth.