February 15th, 2017 207
Mongolia's 2016 GDP slowest in 7 years as investments fall
ULAANBAATAR, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Mongolia's economy grew at its slowest pace in seven years in 2016, and it may slip into recession when austerity measures imposed on the country for a debt bailout are rolled out.
"With third quarter growth going negative for the first time since the global financial crisis, we could have easily hit a recession in the fourth quarter," said Badral Munkhdul, chief executive officer of market intelligence group Cover Mongolia.
The 2016 full-year growth rate was higher than some forecasts, with the International Monetary Fund predicting zero growth for the year. The economy grew 2.4 percent in 2015.
"The government should not be patting themselves on the back just yet for beating international forecasts," Munkhdul said, adding that Mongolia "got very lucky" as a result of a surprise increase in coking coal prices last year.