CONAKRY (Reuters) - Guinea's economy grew by 3.9 percent last year, roughly one percentage point less than forecast due to political uncertainty surrounding the delay of legislative elections, the government said in a report.
Parliamentary elections, due to complete the mineral-rich West African nation's transition to civilian rule after a 2008 coup, are required to unblock hundreds of millions of dollars in international aid.
However, they have been repeatedly delayed by disputes between rival political camps.
Electoral authorities have earmarked May 12 for the long-delayed legislative ballot but President Alpha Conde has missed the deadline for a decree to start the electoral process, after 10 days of violent opposition protests.
"Real GDP growth reached 3.9 percent in 2012 versus 4.8 percent initially forecast, due in part to delays in the political transition and the slowdown in economic activity in industrialised countries," an economy ministry report said.
The ministry indicated that alumina production fell in 2012 to around 241,000 tonnes, from 586,000 the previous year. Production of bauxite, meanwhile, rose by 13.5 percent to roughly 20 million tonnes.
Guinea is the world's top supplier of the aluminium ore bauxite, but political turmoil has unnerved investors.
At least eight people have been killed and hundreds injured in 10 days of violent political protests after a February 27 march ended in clashes between police and opposition supporters.
Russian aluminum giant RUSAL has quietly abandoned plans for a multi-billion dollar aluminum smelter in Guinea, as the company trims its output in the face of weak prices and rising power costs, according to a government source and documents seen by Reuters.
Its decision adds to a string of vanishing investment plans in the poor West African state, where more than half the 10 million inhabitants get by on less than a dollar a day.