International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
1. Uzbekistan entered the COVID-19 crisis with relatively strong macro-economic fundamentals. The economy was growing at a rate of 5–6 percent in the preceding years, reflecting sound macro-economic policies and the implementation of an ambitious reform program that was launched in 2017. The buffers built in recent years, together with large international support, allowed the authorities to respond quickly and effectively to the pandemic.
The economy contracted sharply amid two waves of COVID-19 infections, with the government providing sizable policy support. The outlook is very uncertain and the main challenge facing policymakers is to keep adjusting to changing circumstances. Over the medium term, structural reforms are needed that support inclusive income convergence toward advanced EU partners against demographic headwinds.