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Armenian PM Warns Of Steeper GDP Drop

Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian
Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian
YEREVAN -- Armenia's prime minister has revised his government’s earlier macroeconomic forecasts, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Speaking at an international economic forum in Yerevan on July 7, Tigran Sarkisian said that Armenia's GDP could face a fall of 20 percent decline this year.

Armenian officials have said in recent weeks that the dramatic economic decline will ease in the second half of the year thanks to hundreds of millions of dollars in loans provided by foreign lending institutions and governments.

Sarkisian said at a cabinet meeting last week that a $500 million Russian loan alone would help to improve the country’s macroeconomic performance already in the third quarter of 2009.

However, Sarkisian made clear on July 7 that such an improvement should not be anticipated before the fourth quarter. He argued that the Armenian economy still expanded at a double-digit rate in the third quarter of last year, just before it was hit by the global downturn.