The Uzbek economy grew by 8.1% in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev announced this week. Industrial and agricultural production increased by 8.3% and 6.5%, and consumer goods production, retail turnover and services by 13.5%, 14.8% and 13.1% respectively. Export volumes were up by 7.4% percent. Over 441,800 jobs had been created during the six-month period, he said with over 15,000 SME’s being launched. The government is now looking for 8% growth over the course or the year and to keep inflation between 5.5% and 6.5%.