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COVID-19 pandemic continues to be the main trigger of the global economy for the second year in a row.

The economies of the countries started to recover gradually, but no one can estimate when the pandemic ends. Everyone is kept in suspense with new strains and mutations of the virus, in particular, the emergence of two mutations of the coronavirus in India. It continues to introduce uncertainty regarding the economic prospects, and in 2021 the states, population and business are forced to adapt to rapidly changing conditions.

Despite the uncertainty of the prospects, all international financial organizations are inclined to consider the current year as the beginning of a gradual recovery of the world economy. In March, the IMF forecasted the growth of the world economy in 2021 by 6%, in 2022 – by 4.4%. The World Bank in January gave a more restrained estimate: 4% and 3.8% this and next year, respectively. However, economic recovery is uneven, varying from region to region. Analysts associate economic recovery directly with the vaccination rate.

Simultaneously, geopolitics is becoming a barrier to global economic growth rather than its driver. Despite the postulated benefits of the globalization, countries’ polarization is rising: Russia and the West, China and the United States. If the clash between the United States and the Celestial Empire behind the curtain of trade wars clearly demonstrates only the reluctance of the United States to recognize China as a superpower, then the confrontation between Russia and the entire West is more like a new Cold War: the expulsion of about 140 diplomats, the imposition of mutual sanctions, and tension in eastern Ukraine.

In turn, the Kazakhstan’s economy in 2021 is still under the influence of fiscal stimuli and soft monetary conditions. This creates dangerous risks for the residential real estate market, where prices for primary housing in the first three months have already increased by 4.7%, and for secondary housing – by 10.4%. The rise in prices, among other things, was facilitated by the early withdrawal of pension savings by citizens.

In this Macroeconomic Outlook for Kazakhstan 2021, AERC is based on the following assumptions:

Brent oil price will be formed on average in 2021 at 62.3 US dollars per barrel;
The economies of the trading partner countries in 2021 will grow by 4.5%;
The volume of oil and gas condensate production in Kazakhstan in 2021 will reach 88.9 million tons.

Under these conditions, according to the AERC forecast, the real GDP of Kazakhstan in 2021 will grow by 3.9%. This result is a consensus of the aggregate demand and aggregate supply models, taking into account the aforementioned assumptions.

Recall that in February, GDP growth for 2021 was predicted by AERC at 4.8%. The downward revision of the forecast is associated with the ongoing spikes in infections around the world, new strains of coronavirus, slowed down vaccination processes, which was mentioned earlier.

At the same time, consumer inflation will accelerate in comparison with 2020 and will amount to 7.4% in 2021. The current account of the balance of payments of Kazakhstan, according to the AERC forecast, taking into account the gradual recovery of exports and imports in 2021, will be in a deficit of -7.7 billion US dollars, amounting to -4% of GDP.

Авторы: Галия Исмурзина , Жаксыбек Кулекеев , Жаныбек Айгазин , Рустам Бекишев , Гульнара Балгабекова , Гульмира Исимбаева , Асем Хусаинова , Евгения Пак , Галымжан Айтказин , Малика Шакер , Асель Майданова