On February 20th the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic (NBKR, the central bank) released preliminary estimates showing that the trade deficit had widened to US$2.7bn in 2017. According to the data, export earnings came to US$1.8bn in 2017, up from US$1.6bn in 2016.
In July 2017, the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic initiated some changes to the law on state allowances (Law No. 163, July 2017) according to which new social allowances would be provided starting from January 2018. Its implementation was then postponed to April to allow for corrections in the targeting system. Nevertheless, with the application of the new criteria, many former MBPF beneficiaries are now left without social protection. Estimations of the impact of these changes are reported in the Food Security Scenario section.
On a positive note, consumer prices fell in March after rising in the previous semester. Apples are currently the only commodity with abnormally high price in the market. In the last months, the Kyrgyz som has been stable against US dollar, Russian ruble and Kazakh tenge.
The inflation rate was registered at 2.7% in March.