(Adds more info, background)
BAKU, Sept 29 Azerbaijan's Finance Ministry on
Thursday forecast gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 1
percent for next year, according to a statement.
The International Monetary Fund predicts Azeri GDP will fall
2.4 percent this year while the European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development sees a 3 percent contraction.
The ministry also said it assumed an average oil price of
$40 per barrel in the 2017 budget.
Oil and gas account for about 75 percent of state revenues
and 45 percent of gross domestic product and the slump in crude
prices since mid-2014 has hit the economy hard.
The government cut the base oil price assumed in the budget
for this year to $25 per barrel and moved the currency into a
managed float, easing pressure on foreign exchange reserves.
The 2017 budget draft sees revenues at 15.955 billion
manats, down from 16.8 billion projected for this yea, and
spending - at 16.6 billion manats, down from 18.5 billion
expected in 2016.
The budget deficit is expected to be reduced to 1.05 percent
of the gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.9 percent projected
for this year.
(Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Margarita Antidze;
Editing by Angus MacSwan)