Although full-year data will not be available for quite some time, the CIS Statistical Office has released data on economic growth in output for the first three quarters of 2001 (www.cisstat.com, December 4, 2001). According to official statistics, the more economically reform-minded Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan enjoyed a great year in 2001. Through the first three quarters, GDP rose 13.7, 6.0 and 10.9 percent, respectively. Simultaneously, inflation in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan ran just 8.7 and 7.6 percent. Tajikistan, on the other hand, is still struggling to stabilize prices with inflation running at 42.7 percent, though inflation is on course to fall in 2002. In all three countries, increases in industrial output, primarily driven by a rise in natural resource extraction or power generation, have been a driving force for growth. Industrial output was up 13.5 percent in Kazakhstan through October, in Kyrgyzstan by 7.3 percent and in Tajikistan by 10.9 percent.
The increases in economic output have resulted in hefty rises in income. In Kyrgyzstan, money incomes were up 20.5 percent through October, giving Kyrgyz citizens a 13 percent real increase in income. In Tajikistan, accelerating inflation eroded income gains. Although Tajik incomes rose 47 percent, high consumer price inflation kept the real increase to just 3.0 percent. The expanding economies and increases in income enabled Kazakh and Kyrgyz citizens to increase purchases of consumer goods. Retail sales have soared in Kazakhstan, up 13.5 percent through October. In Kyrgyzstan, retail sales rose 6.1 percent through the same period. The Tajiks had a tougher year. Despite the large increase in GDP, retail sales stagnated through the first ten months of the year.
CIS EXPORT PERFORMANCE FAILS TO EXCITE IN FIRST THREE QUARTERS OF 2001.