Hit by severe summer drought that wrecked harvests and stifled economic activity, Russia's gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 2.7 percent year-on-year in the July-September period, preliminary data from the Federal Statistics Service showed.
Although showing growth for the third quarter in a row, the expansion was nearly half of the 5.2 percent seen in the second quarter. It is still, however, above the Economy Ministry's most recent formal forecast of 2.2 percent.
No estimate of quarterly growth has been released.
A slowdown in Russia's economic recovery is being accompanied by a persistent budget deficit that came to 2.1 percent of GDP in the first 10 months of 2010, the Finance Ministry said on Friday.
However, Russia's fundamentals remain fairly sound thanks to strong oil prices, with the trade balance posting a surplus of $10.41 billion in September, up from $7.96 billion in August.