In 2022, Kazakhstan’s economy experienced the same challenges as the global economy as a whole – record consumer inflation, rapid and widespread tightening of monetary conditions, reduced household consumption, deteriorating residential real estate market, as well as negative consequences of the military conflict in Ukraine. In addition, due to the accident at Kashagan, oil production at the field decreased by more than 10%, and the total production in the republic fell to the lowest level since 2017 (84.1 million tons). A further slowdown in growth in 2022 was held back by a fiscal impulse, external demand and high hydrocarbon prices, as well as a record grain harvest. Thanks to this, the economy showed growth by 3.2% yoy in 2022. Against the backdrop of high inflation rates in October (18.8% yoy) and December (20.3% yoy) last year, the NBK raised the base rate first to 16.0% and then to 16.75%. Taking into account the persistence of pro-inflationary risks, the NBK expressed the need to maintain the base rate at the current level for an extended period of time.
Growth in prices for oil and gas condensate by 51% yoy, with a decrease in the physical volume of exports by 0.7% yoy, contributed to the growth of the trade account surplus by 2 times to $35.1 billion, which led to an expansion of the current account surplus to $6.3 billion. However, the record current account surplus over the past 11 years was leveled by an outflow from the financial account in the amount of $7 billion. The exchange rate of the national currency depreciated by 7.2% yoy in 2022 (weakening by 2.6% yoy in 2021) and amounted to 462.7 tenge per US dollar.
The macroeconomic picture in the country in 2023, according to our forecasts, will be as follows: GDP growth rate will amount to 3.5% yoy, inflation rates will slow down to 11.5% yoy, and the exchange rate will be at the level of 480 tenge per 1 US dollar as of the end of the year.