The jumpy Caucasian Tiger – i.e. Armenia’s economy grew by 11,2% in January-June of 2007, according to Banks.am, and it looks as if life has gone for good to better, with average monthly salary increasing by 20.5% as compared to the same period of 2006, thus making 71344 drams.
Somehow all these growth figures make me remember the Soviet times with impressive growth figures being reported each year, while people could hardly find anything in the shops. Today, one can find everything in the newly built shiny shops, but how much of that is affordable? In a recent post over quality of life, I’ve spoken about how figures and reality don’t add up. Is it all thanks to the National Statistical Service of Armenia? I wouldn’t be surprised to find out, that the guys there have no clue about statistics – you would hardly expect a brilliant scientist working there on the average salary of 52491 drams as they have gladly reported, noting that it represents a 22.1% rise for organizations feeding from the state budget.
Another way I can explain the degrading quality of life despite growth figures in the economy is the foreign trade turnover of Armenia:
[Banks.am, Mediamax, July 20, 2007] The foreign trade turnover of Armenia in January-June of 2007 totaled 674.7bln drams or $1892.0mln, having increased by 36,5% as compared to the same period of 2006.
As the press service of the National Statistical Service of Armenia told Mediamax today, the export volume during the accounting period made 187.7bln drams or $527.0mln, and the import volume totaled 487.0bln drams or $1365.0mln.
The deficit of the foreign trade balance in January-June of 2007 stood at 299.3bln drams or $838mln.
With the tendency of Armenian Dram’s exchange rate growth vs all major currencies of the world it seems like we will soon stop selling anything abroad. On the experience of my own household, I wouldn’t expect to live better, if I’m buying everything I need to survive, and not bringing any money home. Is there any economist over there to help me change my mind?