The slowdown was better than the Economy Ministry projection of 2.2 percent decline and almost in line with forecasts from the Prime Minister office.
The economy is expected to shrink 2.8 percent in 2015, estimates from the Economy Minister showed, following a 1.3 percent contraction in 2014. However, the GDP is expected to return to growth in the end of the year. Since the beginning of the year, the ruble gained more than 16 percent to the USD and prices of crude oil recovered slightly. Meanwhile, the central bank cut rates three times aiming to boost consumption.