Russia Monthly Economic Developments

In the second half of 2018, despite robust activity in the United States, there was a slowdown in global growth, which reached an almost three-year low of 2.4 percent (q/q saar) in 18Q3. The subdued momentum persisted in 18Q4 with the global manufacturing PMI ending the year at a 27-month low. After falling almost 20 percent in November 2018, oil prices declined by an additional 13 percent in December. The drop in prices was driven by ongoing concerns of oversupply as well as weakening prospects for global demand in 2019, particularly in China. While the oil price tumbled in December, the ruble nominal exchange rate depreciated moderately. On the back of turbulence in the emerging markets and elevated geopolitical tensions, net capital outflows in 2018 reached about 4.8 percent of GDP (USD 72.1 billion), the highest reading since 2014. In November 2018, there was a slowdown in growth momentum in Russia, with agricultural production dropping and growth in industry slowing. Labor market dynamics were stable in November. December readings of consumer inflation slightly exceeded expectations (3.8 – 4.2% interval according to the CBR forecast) and the 4 percent inflation target. The federal budget registered a surplus of 3.7 percent of GDP in the first eleven months of 2018.


Apurva Sanghi

Lead Economist for the Russian Federation

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