Turkmenistan says Q1 inflation 1.8 pct

ASHGABAT Tue May 24, 2011 9:34am BST

ASHGABAT May 24 (Reuters) - Consumer prices in Turkmenistan rose 1.8 percent in the three months to March 2011, the state statistics committee said on Tuesday, without providing a comparative figure for inflation in the same quarter of 2010. Full-year 2010 inflation in Turkmenistan was 4.8 percent.

Turkmenistan, a reclusive former Soviet state sitting on the world's fourth-largest natural gas reserves, rarely discloses its economic indicators. Official data are often viewed with scepticism by outsiders.

Turkmenistan's economy grew by 14.4 percent in the first quarter of 2011 from a year earlier, President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said on April 11. [ID:nLDE73A136]

The International Monetary Fund forecasts the economy, which relies heavily on gas exports, will grow 9.0 percent this year versus 9.2 percent in 2010. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development forecasts 10.0 percent economic growth in 2011. (Reporting by Marat Gurt, writing by Robin Paxton; editing by Patrick Graham)

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