Azerbaijan's total currency reserves grew by over 13% - minister

Azerbaijan's total currency reserves grew by over 13 percent, Finance Minister Samir Sharifov said at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers chaired by President Ilham Aliyev dedicated to the results of socioeconomic development of the country in 2017 and future objectives.

The minister noted that Azerbaijanchr("39")s foreign trade turnover for 11 months of 2017 amounted to $21.8 billion, which is 12 percent more than in the same period of 2016.

"Exports of goods grew 19 percent and exceeded $14 billion," the minister said. "One should especially note that exports of non-oil products increased by 24 percent. Overall trade surplus amounted to more than $6 billion, and as a result, the country's total currency reserves grew by $4.5 billion or 13.3 percent since the beginning of 2017."

Sharifov added that the revenues and expenditures of the state budget for 2017 were executed by 98 percent compared to the approved forecast and amounted to 16.447 billion manats and 17.588 billion manats, respectively.

He noted that despite the budget revenues were 736 million manats less than the forecast volume, the expenditures of budget organizations were fully covered at the expense of approved state budget expenditures, adding that several factors contributed to this.

Thus, customs revenues were 16 percent or 359 million manats more than the forecast volume, also additional volumes of government short-term bonds were sold on the domestic market and efficiency of public spending was increased, he said.

"The deficit of the state budget was 34 million manats less than the approved upper limit," he noted. "Positive dynamics was observed during execution of the consolidated budget. If the consolidated budget deficit was forecast at 7.6 billion manats or 11.1 percent of GDP, it amounted to one billion manats or 1.5 percent of GDP in 2017."