Russia’s Economy Grew 2% in 2018: Economy Ministry

The Russian economy expanded by 1.9 percent in December year-on-year after growing by 1.8 percent the previous month, the economy ministry said on Friday, according to Vesti Finance.

The ministry increased its estimate for gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2018 to 2 percent from 1.8 percent due to a significant rise in construction activity.

In 2017, GDP growth in Russia was 1.6 percent, according to the most recent estimate from the Russian Federal Statistics Service.

In an interview with Russia 24 TV, Russia’s economy minister Maksim Oreshkin said the country’s GDP growth in 2018 stood at 2% and predicted a 2.2% growth for 2019.

“In general, the trend that we predicted for 2019, it will be worse than 2018. Yes, economic growth will not be 2%, as in 2018, but in the second half of the year we will again reach growth rates close to 2%,” explained Oreshkin.

The ministry’s estimates on the final GDP dynamics in 2018 were also published in the review of the monthly “Picture of business activity” for January 2019.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its forecast on Russia’s 2019 GDP growth by 0.2 percentage points and 0.1 percentage points in 2020, to 1.6% and 1.7%, respectively.

The outlook was slashed due to a reduction in the fund’s mid-term forecast of global oil prices. The fund cut an expected average annual oil price in 2019 by $9.81 to $58.95 per barrel to and now expects the oil price to fall to $58.74 in 2020.