The Russian GDP advanced 0.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017, following 0.3 percent growth in the previous period and above market expectations of 0.4 percent, according to preliminary estimates. The economy returned to growth after a two-year recession that was mainly caused by low oil prices and sanctions imposed on Russian individuals and businesses in response to the annexation of Crimea.
In the first quarter this year, exports surged by 35.2 percent to USD 83.8 billion, marking the first increase since the second quarter of 2014 and the biggest since 2011. Exports were mainly boosted by fuel and energy products; chemicals; machinery and equipment and food. Imports rose 25.5 percent to USD 45.5 billion, driven by machinery and equipment; chemical products and food.
Consumer demand shows signs of recovery, as real disposable income fell less (-0.2 percent from -5.9 percent in Q4) and real wages growth edged up (1.9 percent from 1.8 percent in Q4). Furthermore, the retail sales declined by 1.8 percent (-4.6 percent in Q4), the smallest decrease since the fourth quarter of 2014. ,
Also, transport output surged 5.4 percent (1.8 percent in Q4).
Meanwhile, the industrial output rose by a meager 0.1 percent (1.7 percent in Q4), as 1.2 percent increase in mining and quarrying was offset by a 0.8 percent fall in manufacturing. The sectors which led the decline were the manufacturing of tobacco products and vehicles, metallurgy and printing. Agricultural output went up by a slower 0.7 percent (5 percent in Q4). Construction fell further by 4.3 percent (-2 percent in Q4).
According to the Central Bank's forecast, the GDP is expected to expand 1 percent -1.5 percent. The IMF and World Bank are predicting 1.4 percent and 1.5 percent growth, respectively.
5/18/2017 4:17:11 PM