Kazakhstan's GDP grew in 2009 as Commodities led Recovery

    Kazakhstan's economy expanded last year as rising commodity prices helped pull the country out of recession.
    Gross domestic product rose 1.2 percent in the full year after contracting 2.2 percent in the first nine months and compared with 3.3 percent growth in 2008, the State Statistics Agency said in a report published on its Web site yesterday. It doesn't provide quarterly numbers.
    Kazakhstan, which holds 3.2 percent of the world's oil reserves according to BP Plc, relies on demand for the fuel and metals including copper produced by Kazakhmys Plc for growth. GDP may expand as much as 3 percent in 2010 as commodity prices recover, Finance Minister Bolat Zhamishev said last September.
    "Oil was driving growth and a recovery in metals prices in the latter part of the year," Hans Holzhacker, chief economist of ATF Bank, part of UniCredit Group, said by phone from Almaty today. Manufacturing has also picked up, he said.
    The tenge traded at 148.1250 per dollar at 5.27 p.m. in the capital, Astana. Crude oil for March delivery rose as much as $1.10, or 1.5 percent, to $75.23 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange today.
    Prices climb
    Crude oil climbed 12.4 percent in the fourth quarter, according to Bloomberg data. Copper, used in homes, cars and appliances, surged 137 percent last year as the world recovered from the longest recession since World War II.
    Kazakhstan, which borders Russia and China, is the largest oil supplier in central Asia and the world's 10th biggest copper producer. Industrial production rose an annual 10.3 percent in December, supported by a 24.5 percent growth in manufacturing.
    Economic growth may accelerate to 2.5 percent this year and 5 percent in 2011, according to Holzhacker. The country will probably revise GDP figures for the first nine months of 2009, he also said.
    "The international situation and large infrastructure programs are going to determine future growth," Holzhacker said. The government plans to invest in the construction and renovation of roads, a power station, pipelines and petrochemical plants, he said, according to Bloomberg.