This chapter discusses the national economy and transition strategies of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan's national economic history divides sharply between 1991 and 1998, and the years since 1999. The first period, dominated by nation-building, saw traumatic economic adjustment to the shocks of the early 1990s and a large unanticipated decline in living standards. As the country started to recover from the economic nadir in 1997 it was hit by the 1998 Russian crisis, and only in 1999 did sustained economic growth begin. However, when growth did begin—stimulated by policy decisions such as a large currency devaluation and sustained by rising oil prices—Kazakhstan enjoyed a decade during which it was one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The chapter also considers the banking crisis in 2007–2008, whose impact was exacerbated by the collapse in the price of oil in the second half of 2008.
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