Mongolia Says Its GDP Expands 5.3 Percent Y/Y in the First Half

A woman passes by a statue of the Beatles in Mongolia's capital, Ulaanbaatar, August 9, 2017. Picture taken August 9, 2017. (Reuters Photo/Terrence Edwards)

By : Terrence Edwards | on 3:00 AM August 16, 2017
Category : International, Asia-Pacific

Ulaanbaatar. Mongolia's economic growth accelerated sharply in the first half of 2017, the government said, helped by a revived coal market and a bailout package led by the International Monetary Fund.

The country's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 5.3 percent from a year earlier, to 12.8 trillion tugrik ($5.26 billion), the National Statistics Office said on Tuesday (15/08).

In the first quarter, Mongolia reported 4.2 percent annual growth. For all of 2016, the economy expanded only 1 percent, the slowest pace in seven years.

The northeast Asian country's economy has improved since an agreement in May for a $5.5 billion economic rescue package from the IMF and partners helped prevent defaults on sovereign loans and bolstered the flagging currency.

The coal industry in Mongolia has also seen a boon from a Chinese ban on coal from North Korea and curbs on deliveries into smaller ports.

Coal exports grew more than four times from January through July compared with the same period last year, to $1.4 billion. Mongolia sold 97 percent of its coal to China, with the remainder going to Russia and the United Kingdom.

Copper exports in the first seven months this year fell by 14.3 percent to $888.75 million, the statistics office reported.

Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga, who was sworn in July, on Monday met with a council of business leaders to discuss how he plans to run the country alongside a parliament and cabinet run by an opposing political party.

"The business environment should be expanded, and I will work in collaboration with the government on this," said Battulga, according to a summary of the event from the Business Council of Mongolia (BCM) on Tuesday.

Reuters

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