World Bank Lowers Russian Economy’s Growth Forecast for 2019

The World Bank has lowered its forecast for the growth of the Russian economy this year to 1.5 percent instead of the previously predicted 1.8 percent, The Moscow Times reports.

“In Russia, growth has been resilient, supported by private consumption and exports,” the World Bank writes in its semi-annual Global Economic Prospects report published Tuesday. “However, momentum has slowed, reflecting policy uncertainty, recent oil price declines, and renewed pressures on currency and asset prices.”

The U.S.-based financial institution estimated growth of 1.6 percent in Russia in 2018 and projects 1.8 percent growth in 2020 and 2021.

After two years of decline brought by Western sanctions and a collapse in global oil prices, Russia’s economy returned to a growth rate of 1.5 percent in 2017. Economy Minister Maxim Oreshkin has said GDP growth for Russia is expected to reach 1.3 percent in 2019.

In the report titled “Darkening Skies”, the World Bank also warned that trade tensions between China and the U.S., the world’s two largest economic powers, is already inflicting collateral damage and threatens to do yet more harm to the global economy.

The growth of the global economy is expected to slow to 2.9 percent in 2019 compared with 3 percent in 2018, the World Bank said, citing elevated trade tensions and international trade moderation.

The report was markedly more pessimistic than a year ago – when the outlook was for synchronized global growth – and peppered with exhortations to take “urgent,” “imperative” or “critical” action.