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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

CIS Sees Record GDP Growth for 2000

High global oil prices last year helped push the economies of the member nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States to their best collective performance since the post-Soviet federation was formed in 1991, said analysts polled Wednesday.

Nine of the 12 nations in the alliance posted healthy year-on-year gross domestic product increases of over 4 percent through November, according to the CIS's Interstate Statistics Committee, which released the numbers Friday.

Oil-rich Azerbaijan led the way with booming GDP growth of 11.3 percent, followed by Kazakhstan with 10.5 percent and Russia with 8.4 percent. Oil-poor Georgia was the only CIS economy to shrink, posting a negative GDP of 0.2 percent. Moldova grew just 1 percent, and Turkmenistan does not send statistics to the committee.

The other nations with strong GDP growth are Kyrgystan at 5.7 percent, Belarus 5.5 percent, Ukraine 5.4 percent, Tajikistan 5.1 percent, Armenia 5 percent and Uzbekistan 4.2 percent.

Analysts said the GDP results were a strong indication that much of the damage caused by Russia's 1998 financial meltdown — which spread across the commonwealth — has been repaired.

Aside from oil, analysts said, the second-most important factor driving CIS economies is the reform and relative stability of the Russian economy.

Oil-rich Azerbaijan led the way with booming GDP growth of 11.3 percent.

"All the CIS economies are very orientated toward — and dependent on — Russia," said Alexei Zabotkin, an economist at United Financial Group.

President Vladimir Putin told the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta last week that while the Russian economy continues to "significantly depend" on the export of fuels, there are strong signs of growth in other sectors.

"GDP growth will reach 7 percent again and may even exceed that figure somewhat," the paper quoted Putin as saying.

"Industrial growth in some sectors is between 15 percent and 30 percent. Pensions have been increased by 30 percent, salaries by 24 percent and real incomes by about 9 percent," he said. "What really counts is that we have not eaten up the oil dollars."

Nursultan Nazarbayev, president of Kazakhstan, said Friday that his country would overtake Azerbaijan atop the CIS 2000 GDP chart once December figures become available, Interfax reported. Nazarbayev also said that while GDP growth in Kazakhstan would slow in 2001, it would still be above 4 percent.