Government Expects Budget Surplus of 1.5%-2%: Finance Minister

Russia’s finance ministry expects a budget surplus of 1.5 to two percent of GDP in 2018 instead of previously forecasted deficit, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov said on Sunday.

“The budget surplus is growing. I would like to say that instead of the previously forecasted budget deficit of 1.5% of GDP, as was fixed in the law, we expect a budget surplus of 1.5-2% of GDP,” he said in an interview with the Rossiya-1 television channel.

“This year, we anticipate a 1.8-2% GDP growth,” he said, adding that the second quarter of 2018 demonstrated economic growth dynamics of 1.8%, with upwards dynamics to be further growing in the following years.

On Friday, the Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat), said the country’s GDP grew 1.8 per cent in the second quarter compared with the same period last year.

The state statistics match projections set by a preliminary assessment by the Ministry of Economic Development (MED), which noted a slowdown in GDP growth in June, with strong data from April and May.

The Ministry of Economic Development previously estimated GDP growth in the first half of the year at 1.7%, based on Rosstat’s revision of estimates for industrial production growth in the first quarter. The revised estimates are not yet publicized, though.  

The growth rate in the second quarter significantly exceeds the GDP dynamics in the first three months of 2018, when it grew by 1.3%.