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ALMATY, May 13 (Reuters) - Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.6 percent in the first three months of 2011, compared with a 7.1-percent rise in the first quarter of last year, the State Statistics Agency said on Friday.
The official growth figure is bigger than the estimate of a 6.5-percent GDP rise made by Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov last month.
Kazakhstan, Central Asia’s largest economy, is also the region’s No. 1 oil producer. Its economic growth is fuelled by strong world prices for its crude, grain and industrial metals.
Kazakh Economy Minister Kairat Kelimbetov has said the economy may grow by 7.0 percent this year, faster than the original official target of 4-5 percent, as commodity markets boom.
Kazakhstan’s GDP grew by 7.0 percent in 2010 versus 1.2 percent in 2009. (Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Ramya Venugopal)