Algeria’s gross domestic product(GDP) grew 2.3% in the first quarter of this year helped by better performance from the energy sector, official data showed on Saturday, after a 3.9% contraction a year earlier.

OPEC member Algeria’s economy relies heavily on oil and gas which account for 9% of its total export revenue and 60% of the state budget.

The country’s oil and gas sector grew 7.5% in the January-March period after a 13.3% contraction a year earlier, figures issued by the National Statistics Bureau showed.

The non-energy sector grew by 1.4% after shrinking 1.2% a year earlier, the figures showed.

In June, Algeria’s finance ministry said it expects its economy to grow by 4.2% in 2021, revising up a 4% forecast announced late last year.

Growth in the oil and gas sector is projected at 10.1% thanks to a “gradual return to economic activity after an improvement in the health situation” linked to the coronavirus, it said in a statement.

Algeria has been under financial pressure due to a fall in energy export earnings, the main source of state finances, forcing the government to try to cut spending on imports of goods and services.

As a result, the country’s trade deficit reached $15.2 billion in the first five months of 2021, down 68% from the same period in 2020, the statement said.

Oil and gas export revenues rose 32.7% during the January-May period, it added, without providing details.