Economic growth for Kyrgyzstan, which stood at a record-high 10.5 per cent in 2013, is set to continue over the upcoming few years though at a more modest pace, recently updated state forecasts tend to indicate. The division of wealth between various social layers, however, staunchly continues to favour the wealthier and keep the poorer stripped to the bone. The latter, which comprise a staggering one-third proportion of the population, are a time bomb under social stability in the form of “crimes of despair” which in itself signifies a threat not just to the economy as such but to the nation’s perseverance as well.

 

“The Kyrgyz Finance Ministry projects increases in GDP per capita from $1,325.4 in 2014 to $1,816.7 in 2017,” AKIpress wrote in its most recent national  macroeconomic review [http://www.akipress.com/news:543287/] last week. “The real growth of average monthly salary during 2015-2017 is projected in average at 1.4%, which will lead to increase of incomes of population in average for 41.3 billion som per annum (372.2 billion som in 2017), reports Tazabek with reference to the Finance Ministry’s medium-term budget forecast for 2015-2017. The population is projected to grow for 95,900 people annually in average. The employed population will grow monthly by 0.5% in average. GDP per capita will grow by 11.1% in average to make $1,816.7 in 2017. Poverty level will reduce by 0.4% annually in average to make 36.9% in 2017.” Since the population is set to grow at a faster pace, the absolute number of people living on or below the poverty line, however, is on the increase as well.

 

KEY ECONOMIC FORECASTS FOR KYRGYZSTAN 2014-2017

Indicators 2014 2015 2016 2017
  projections Forecast Forecast forecast
Average annual population number (million people) 5.569 5.668 5.765 5.856
Poverty (percentage of population) 38 37.9 37.4 36.9
GDP per capita, $ 1,325.4 1,459.7 1,627.0 1,816.7
Employed population (million people) 2.317 2.332 2.340 2.352
Income of population (billion som) 248.3 286.1 325.7 372.2
Average monthly salary (som) 12.960 14,120 15,800 16,900
Real growth rate (%) 105.3 100.1 104.0 100.1

source: AKIpress

 

 

The discrepancy between upper levels of the population and those stuck in the mud, as well as stagnation in employment growth, indicate a growing risk for social and thereby eventually political stability in Kyrgyzstan. “Poverty, drugs, alcohol and peer pressure are the factors behind a sharp rise in the number of youths committing crimes in Kyrgyzstan,” the agency wrote in a separate background report  [http://www.akipress.com/news:543137/] referring to a survey co-produced by the Police Matters Programme of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek and presented on 13 June 2014. “The survey, compiled in co-operation with the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Social Development, noted that crimes by people under 18-years old amounted to 45.5 percent of the total crimes in the country, a rise of 8.2 percent on 2012, and up 21 percent since 2010. It says that juvenile delinquency inspectors and school teachers need to take greater action to tackle this problem since students were not willing to talk openly about the problems they face at home and outside of school.”

BY CHARLES VAN DER LEEUW, WRITER, NEWS ANALYST