Thursday, 22 April 2010

Russian quarterly economic growth 'slows to 0.6%'

Russia's economy grew by 0.6% from January to March, slower than during the previous two quarters, according to the economic development ministry.

Minister Elvira Nabiullina said there were signs of revival, but "investment and consumer demand is not yet stable".

Russia's statistical agency, Rosstat, will not issue its preliminary estimate of the country's first-quarter GDP until mid-May.

Russia, hit hard by the global crisis, saw its economy fall by 7.9% in 2009.

The country spent a year in recession before returning to growth in the third quarter of 2009.

The economy expanded by 2% in the July-September period of 2009, followed by growth of 1.7% in the final three months of the year, according to Ms Nabiullina.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia's recession was over, but not the crisis.

"The situation really has been quite complicated," Mr Putin told the Russian parliament.

"It is now far from benign, but the gloomiest predictions were not realised - and not because we were simply lucky."

Ms Nabiullina said that the country's economy was likely to grow in the April-June period as well.

She added that Russia's gross domestic product rose in March by 4.9% in comparison with the same month a year ago, while in February, the Russian economy grew 3.9% year-on-year.

Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told journalists on Tuesday that the country's GDP growth might reach 4% this year, more than the initial official forecast of 3.1%.

The country's economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas revenues.

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