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Wednesday 17 February 2021

IMF: COVID-19 Having Short-Lived Impact on Uzbekistan

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Washington, DC (IMF press service) — An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Ron van Rooden conducted a remote mission from January 25 to February 16, 2021 in the context of the 2021 Article IV consultation with Uzbekistan. At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. van Rooden issued a concluding statement.

A Concluding Statement describes the preliminary findings of IMF staff at the end of an official staff visit (or “mission”), in most cases to a member country. Missions are undertaken as part of regular (usually annual) consultations under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, in the context of a request to use IMF resources (borrow from the IMF), as part of discussions of staff monitored programs, or as part of other staff monitoring of economic developments.

According to IMF, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a marked, but so far relatively short-lived, adverse impact on Uzbekistan’s economy. Although the pandemic hit the economy hard in the first half of 2020 and inflicted considerable hardship, the recession was moderated by strong and timely containment and support measures. These included an effective public health response and the deployment of a set of fiscal, monetary, and financial measures, made possible by substantial buffers owing to prudent macro-economic policies in preceding years, and thanks also to sizable international support. This strong policy reaction allowed for a sharp rebound in activity in the second half of the year, while the agricultural and construction sectors showed resilience throughout the year. This resulted in Uzbekistan being among the few countries posting positive overall growth in 2020, at a rate of 1.6%, although this was still about 4 percentage points less than the growth rate projected prior to the pandemic.

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