Big News Network (IANS)
Wednesday 6th March, 2013
Economic growth in Russia is unlikely to surpass three percent in 2013 due to a weak external environment, elevated inflation, flat oil prices and sluggish domestic demand, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin said.
“Economic growth in Russia is currently not supported by the oil-and-gas sector, the growth rate is declining as January brought only 1.6 percent year-on-year,” Kudrin said in comments on Russia 24 television Tuesday.
“We can only hope to reach 3 percent or may be 3.3 percent [in 2013], although I think we will have to work really hard to approach 3 percent,” he said.
The former minister earlier said GDP growth below 3 percent meant stagnation while the economy’s expansion by 3-4.5 percent suggested weak and unstable growth.
According to the official forecast by Russia’s Economic Development Ministry, the country’s GDP growth is expected at 3.6 percent this year and 4.3 percent in 2014. Meanwhile, the Russian government is planning to keep inflation at 5-6 percent.
Russia’s GDP grew only by 3.4 percent last year, the lowest since the deep recession of 2009, with weak demand for Russian exports in Europe and faltering investment.
Kudrin said Tuesday that Russia cannot rely anymore on consumer demand as the main booster of economic growth, and must improve investment climate and diversify its economy in order to stimulate further GDP growth.
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