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Kazakhstan Economy Profile 2017

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Economy - overviewKazakhstan, geographically the largest of the former Soviet republics, excluding Russia, possesses substantial fossil fuel reserves and other minerals and metals, such as uranium, copper, and zinc. It also has a large agricultural sector featuring livestock and grain. The government realizes that its economy suffers from an overreliance on oil and extractive industries and has made initial attempts to diversify its economy by targeting sectors like transport, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, petrochemicals and food processing for greater development and investment.

Kazakhstan's vast hydrocarbon and mineral reserves form the backbone of its economy. Chevron-led Tengizchevroil announced a $36.8 billion expansion of Kazakhstan’s premiere Tengiz oil field in July 2016. Meanwhile, the super-giant Kashagan field finally launched production in October 2016 after years of delay and an estimated $55 billion in development costs.

Kazakhstan is landlocked and depends on Russia to export its oil to Europe. It also exports oil directly to China. In 2010, Kazakhstan joined Russia and Belarus to establish a Customs Union in an effort to boost foreign investment and improve trade. The Customs Union evolved into a Single Economic Space in 2012 and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in January 2015. In part due to weak commodity prices, Kazakhstan’s exports to EAEU countries declined 23.5% in 2016. Imports from EAEU countries to Kazakhstan declined 13.7%.

The economic downturn of its EAEU partner, Russia, and the decline in global commodity prices from 2014-2015 contributed to an economic slowdown in Kazakhstan, which continues to experience its slowest economic growth since the financial crises of 2008-09. In 2014, Kazakhstan devalued its currency, the tenge, and announced a stimulus package to cope with its economic challenges. In the face of further decline in the ruble, oil prices, and the regional economy, Kazakhstan announced in 2015 it would replace its currency band with a floating exchange rate, leading to a sharp fall in the value of the tenge. Since reaching a low of 391 to the dollar in January 2016, the tenge has modestly appreciated, helped by somewhat higher oil prices.

Despite some positive institutional and legislative changes in the last several years, investors remain concerned about corruption, bureaucracy, and arbitrary law enforcement, especially at the regional and municipal levels. An additional concern is the condition of the country’s banking sector, which suffers from low liquidity, poor asset quality, and a lack of transparency. Investors also question the potentially negative effects on the economy of a contested presidential succession as Kazakhstan’s first president, Nursultan NAZARBAYEV, who turns 77 in 2017, has not announced whether he will seek reelection in 2019.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$468.8 billion (2016 est.)
$464.2 billion (2015 est.)
$458.9 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$128.1 billion (2016 est.)
GDP - real growth rate1% (2016 est.)
1.2% (2015 est.)
4.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$25,700 (2016 est.)
$26,300 (2015 est.)
$26,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving25.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
27.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
27.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 54.1%
government consumption: 11.9%
investment in fixed capital: 23.5%
investment in inventories: 6.4%
exports of goods and services: 29.3%
imports of goods and services: -25.2% (2015 est.)
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 4.6%
industry: 31.8%
services: 57.9% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line2.7% (2015 est.)
Labor force8.964 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 18.1%
industry: 20.4%
services: 61.6% (2017 est.)
Unemployment rate4.9% (2016 est.)
5% (2015 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 3.9%
male: 3.6%
female: 4.3% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 4.3%
highest 10%: 22% (2013 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index26.3 (2013)
31.5 (2003)
Budgetrevenues: $23.35 billion
expenditures: $27.25 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues18.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt25.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
22.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)14.6% (2016 est.)
6.7% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate11% (10 April 2017)
12% (9 January 2017)
Commercial bank prime lending rate13.7% (31 March 2017 est.)
14.4% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money$13.45 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.933 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$60.4 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$50.25 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$60.94 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$50.83 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$744 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.737 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$26.23 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Agriculture - productsgrain (mostly spring wheat and barley), potatoes, vegetables, melons; livestock
Industriesoil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, uranium, iron and steel; tractors and other agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction materials
Industrial production growth rate-1.1% (2016 est.)
Current Account Balance-$8.156 billion (2016 est.)
-$5.464 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$35.28 billion (2016 est.)
$46.29 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesoil and oil products, natural gas, ferrous metals, chemicals, machinery, grain, wool, meat, coal
Exports - partnersChina 15.1%, Russia 12.3%, France 9.3%, Germany 7.9%, Italy 6.7%, Greece 4.1% (2015)
Imports$24.5 billion (2016 est.)
$33.65 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, metal products, foodstuffs
Imports - partnersRussia 32.9%, China 25.9%, Germany 4.2% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$30.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$28.07 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$147.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$153.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$148.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$139.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$35.27 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$33.77 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratestenge (KZT) per US dollar -
348.5 (2016 est.)
221.73 (2015 est.)
221.73 (2014 est.)
179.19 (2013 est.)
149.11 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on July 9, 2017

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