Russia Economy April 2011

Source: OPEC 5/11/2012, Location: Asia

The Russian economy was affected by a strong growth in investment demand and a tight labour market in February. Demand for investment grew by 15.1% while unemployment remained flat at 5.9%, slightly below the neutral rate estimated (6 6.5%) by JP Morgan. At the same time, consumer demand growth has been losing its momentum. The surprise decline of -1.2% in retail sales in January was not fully covered by a gain of 0.9% in February.

Industrial production in February rose by 6.5% on an annual basis compared to 3.4% in January. In January, the economy slowed according to Economy Ministry estimates. On an annual basis, the Russian economy was 3.9% larger than the same month a year earlier and below the 2011 average of 4.3% growth.

Industrial output growth recovered in January after a weak December, with production rising by 1% m-o-m. Manufacturing output increased by 1.3% m-o-m and 4.8% y-o-y. The latest industrial survey suggests steady albeit modest industrial output growth. Nearly 80% of manufacturing companies in the survey reported that they expected to increase their output over the next three months. The federal budget deficit amounted to $8.3 bn in the January-February period, equal to about 3% of estimated GDP. A cash-flow deficit in the early months of the year is a rare phenomenon because of the seasonal nature of expenditures, which normally only pick up during the second half of the year (EIU Country Report, March 2012).


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