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Armenia's tough socio-economic situation alarms

17 March 2014 [11:50] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

The year 2014 has not yet offered pleasant macroeconomic atmosphere for Armenia, which saw significant drop in major segments of economy in recent years.

"The country's commodity turnover decreased by 4.6 percent in January 2014 compared with the same period of 2013," official statistics said.

Both the retail and wholesale volumes have decreased nearly by six percent, which is explained by drop in purchase power following cut in number of Armenian population.

Migration from the country kept going on at high level over the recent years, affecting negatively other fields of economy. Poor economy and absence of jobs leaves no chance for many Armenians other than to leave their homeland in search of better life.

The predictions are still not optimistic about the economy. The national currency -- dram --continues devaluating with regard to world major currencies.

Armenian dram collapsed on March 3, when the U.S. dollar exchange rate rose from 350 drams to 400 drams. On March 13, the U.S. dollar exchange rate hit 414.97 drams, increasing by 0.03 drams compared to the previous day, the Armenian Central Bank reported.

The EUR exchange rate rose by 4.36 drams to 579.38 drams in March 13, the Armenian Central Bank reported.

Unpleasant slowdown on world market also deteriorates the country's macroeconomic indicators. For instance, the copper prices in London Stock Exchange decreased to $6,681 per ton on March 10.

"World copper prices play important role in the economy of Armenia, which exported $280 million worth of copper concentrate in 2013," local media noted. "The export of copper ore and its products made up $400 million, or roughly 30 percent of the country's overall export."

The complicated economic situation has forced Armenia to rely on humanitarian aid for survival.

"Armenia received 4 million tons of goods as humanitarian aid with worth 23.6 billion drams ($ 57.8 million) in 2013," official statistics show.

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