Russia Monthly Economic Developments

Global growth continues to be dampened by weak industrial activity. The prices of most industrial commodities fell in May with the downward trend continuing into June. Oil prices fell sharply, the price of Brent crude oil fell from $72/bbl in mid-May to $60/bbl in early June. The ruble average exchange rate reached 64.8 against the U.S. dollar, weakening by 0.3 percent in May compared to the previous month. In the period January – May 2019, the current account surplus strengthened compared to the same period last year, due to the stronger trade balance and balance of services. Net private capital outflows increased, supported by the higher net foreign assets acquisition both by banking and non-banking sectors. Economic growth gained momentum in April, supported mainly by an increase in industrial production. Labor market dynamics were mixed in April. In May, the 12-month consumer price inflation dropped slightly to 5.1 percent, down from 5.2 percent in April. Inflation expectations remain elevated. On June 14, the Central Bank cut the policy rate by 25 bp to 7.5 percent in annual terms. On the back of stronger non-oil revenues, the federal budget surplus improved to 2.1 percent of GDP in the first four months of 2019, up from 0.9 percent of GDP in the same period last year.The trend towards growth in both retail and corporate segments credits continued in April. Further, key credit risk and performance indicators remained largely stable.


Apurva Sanghi

Lead Economist for the Russian Federation

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