Maintaining stability of prices and keeping inflation at 4 percent (±2 percent) will be the ultimate goal of the monetary policy of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) in 2019, Chairman of the CBA Elman Rustamov said at an expanded meeting of the bank’s board Jan. 26, Trend reports.
He noted that in 2018, inflation fell at a faster pace than expected and stopped at the single-digit level, adding that the average annual inflation was 2.3 percent in 2018.
“Macroeconomic stability in 2018 created conditions for economic growth in Azerbaijan,” Rustamov said. “GDP actually grew by 1.4 percent and the non-oil sector grew by 1.8 percent.”
He added that the non-oil industry showed higher growth rates, noting that this indicates the acceleration of industrialization in Azerbaijan and the role of the trade sector in the non-oil sector’s growth.
He further noted that in the first nine months of 2018, the current account surplus of the balance of payments amounted to $5.1 billion, or 15 percent of GDP.
“Strategic currency reserves increased by 6.5 percent compared to the beginning of 2018 and amounted to $45 billion at the end of the year,” he said. “The official currency reserves of the CBA increased by 5.5 percent to $5.6 billion.”
He also noted that since the beginning of the year, the parameters of the interest rate corridor have changed several times, while the discount rate has gradually decreased from 15 percent to 9.75 percent.