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IMF lowers Moldova's 2017 GDP growth forecast to 4%

IMF lowers Moldova's 2017 GDP growth forecast to 4% Moldova's economic growth

CHISINAU (Moldova), October 11 (SeeNews) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered Moldova's economic growth forecast for 2017 to 4.0% from 4.5% predicted in April, according to the latest edition of the global lender's World Economic Outlook (WEO) report released on Tuesday.

The forecast for Moldova's 2018 economic growth is maintained at 3.7%, the IMF said in the October edition of the WEO report posted on its website.

In 2016, Moldova's economy grew by 4.3%, according to the report.

Moldova's inflation is seen slowing down to 5.3% in 2018 from 6.5% projected for this year, the IMF said.

Moldova's annual consumer price inflation quickened to 7.6% in September from 7.3% in August, according to the latest data available from the country's statistical office, BNS. At its last monetary policy meeting held in September, Moldova's central bank, BNM, decided to maintain its key rate at 7.5%, striving to keep inflation close to its 5.0% target.

Moldova's central bank now projects 6.5% inflation in 2017 and 4.4% in 2018.

The IMF expects Moldova's current account deficit to increase to 4.0% of GDP in 2017 from an estimated 3.8% of GDP in 2016.

Moldova's unemployment is seen at 4.3% in 2017 and at 4.2% in 2018, the IMF said.

Moldova has built its 2017 budget bill on a projection of 3.0% economic growth, to 142.8 billion lei ($7.15 billion/6.74 billion euro). Budget deficit is forecast at 4.15 billion lei, equivalent to 2.9% of GDP.

In June, an IMF mission visited Moldova for an update on the country's macroeconomic situation. The delegation discussed Moldova's fiscal, monetary and other policies ahead of the second review of country's performance under the current funding programme that is due in the autumn. At the beginning of May, the IMF lent Moldova $21.5 million (18.8 million euro) under the country's current three-year  $178 million credit facility extended in November 2016.

(1 euro = 20.5894 Moldovan lei)