Russia Revises GDP Growth, Inflation Forecasts for 2020

A set of key economic forecasts was revised on Monday by the Russian economy ministry, which lowered its GDP growth and inflation projections for 2020, Meduza reported.

The economy ministry kept is 2019 gross domestic product growth forecast at 1.3% but lowered its 2020 forecast to 1.7% growth from 2.0%.

Less than two weeks before the central bank’s rate-setting meeting, the ministry also lowered its 2019 inflation forecast to 3.8% from 4.3% and revised its 2020 inflation assessment to 3.0% from 3.8%. The central bank aims to keep inflation near its 4% target.

The economy ministry now expects the ruble exchange rate to average 65.4 versus the U.S. dollar this year and 65.7 in 2020. Previously, the ministry forecast the rouble to average 65.1 in 2019 and 64.9 in 2020.

Economic development minister Maxim Oreshkin also said that in 2021 the Russian economy could enter a recession and decline by 0.6% if the current growth rate of consumer lending continues. Still, the minister called this scenario unlikely.

In 2018, the ruble depreciated several times sharply, mainly due to new sanctions against Russia. Over the previous year, the dollar rose by 20.6%.

The revisions came hours after President Vladimir Putin described Russia’s economic growth as insufficient, telling the head of the central bank and top government officials to come up with ways to boost growth in real incomes.