According to the state statistics department, real GDP grew by 7.9% year on year in the first eight months of 1998, helped mainly by growth in the agricultural sector, which grew by 12.3% on the corresponding period in 1997.
In the first six months of this year (the latest period for which data are available) industrial output grew by 3.2% on the first half of 1997. Power and the food industry accounted for the largest share in industrial output and were up by 3% and 16.6% compared with the same period in 1997. Output was also up in all other major industrial sectors--metallurgy, chemicals and petrochemicals, construction and machine tools--albeit from a very low base. Output continued to decline in jewellery manufacturing, which experienced a 27.8% decline in year-on-year terms.
In addition to rising economic activity, the strength of reported real GDP growth reflects improvements in tax legislation and tax collection, which broadened the taxation base and legalised one part of the grey economy. The extent of the recovery may therefore be overstated. (2nd quarter 1998).