European Development Bank Halves Russia’s 2013 GDP Growth Forecast

ISTANBUL, May 10 (Prime) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has cut its GDP growth forecast for Russia in 2013 by almost half, from 3.5 percent to 1.8 percent, a statement by the bank reads.

Russian economic growth slowed to 1 percent in the first quarter of 2013 from 5 percent the previous year, in part due to weakened demand on the internal and external markets and feeble production.

Analysts at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) however suggest that stimulus measures could see the country’s growth potential recover to 3 percent by 2014.

However, the statement notes that these stimulus measures carry an inflationary risk and cannot themselves boost the economy’s production potential.

Economists at the EBRD note that immediate reforms are needed to stimulate growth and investment inflow in the medium-term.

They argue that growth can only be achieved by real measures to improve the investment climate, making it more predictable and transparent for both domestic and foreign investors.

The Russian Ministry for Economic Development in April slashed the country’s GDP growth forecast for 2013 from 3.6 percent to 2.4 percent. It also cut the forecast performance indicators for industrial production and investment.

Economic Development Minister Andrei Belousov warned that Russia’s economy risked sliding into recession by Autumn 2013 unless urgent corrective measures were taken to stimulate the economy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed his aide on economic affairs, Elvira Nabiullina, who in June was appointed Central Bank head, and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov to prepare a package of stimulus proposals by May 15.

 

Expanded at 14.20 with details on the Russian Economic Development Ministry.

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