(MENAFN) Turkmenistan's President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said the gas-fueled nation's GDP rose 10.4 percent in the first quarter, Reuters reported.
The growth was less than 14.4 percent registered in the first quarter of 2011. Turkmenistan, which has the world's fourth largest natural gas reserves, had GDP growth of 14.7 percent last year 2011, up from 9.2 percent in 2010.
Official data show that Turkmenistan's natural gas reserves equal those of Saudi Arabia and are the world's fourth biggest.
The country has output capacity of 75 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year, but industry analysts estimate actual production at 40-42 billion cubic meters or slightly higher, mainly due to a fall in exports to its traditional market, Russia.
Berdymukhamedov reported 19.1 percent increase in natural gas output in first quarter from a year earlier.
On the other hand, the President reprimanded his Deputy Prime Minister Baymurad Hojamuhamedov, who is responsible for the energy sector, for the slow pace of developing oil and gas deposits, state media reported.