The Russian Economy: Modest Growth Ahead
This 39th issue of the Russia Economic Report provides an assessment of recent economic developments and the outlook for the period 2018-2020.
Global growth continued its 2017 momentum and is currently expected to peak at 3.1% in 2018. Recoveries in investment, manufacturing, and trade continue as commodity-exporting developing economies benefit from firming commodity prices.
Oil prices, which firmed up in 2017, are projected to average $65/bbl in 2018 and 2019, and $66/bbl in 2020, but may increase further, especially in the short term.
Supported by deepening macro-economic stability and gradual monetary loosening, Russia’s economy continued its recovery in 2017, mainly driven by non-tradable sectors. Growth momentum towards the end of 2017 slowed down, but picked up in the first quarter of 2018.
Russia’s balance of payments remained stable. An increase in the trade surplus due to higher energy prices was the key factor behind the strengthening of the current account. Monetary policy remained consistent with the inflation-targeting regime, and is moving from moderately tight to neutral. Annual inflation now stands at a record low-level, below the Central Bank's target of 4%. The poverty rate is expected to decrease slightly due to low inflation and recoveries in private income and consumption, but remains above the pre-crisis level.
The banking sector’s fundamentals are largely stable, but the share of state-controlled banking assets grew because of the continuing Central Bank clean-up. The share of state-controlled banks in the combined assets of the Russian banking system increased to nearly 70%.
Russia’s growth prospects remain modest, with growth forecast to be between 1.5% and 1.8% in the 2018-20 period. However, in the short-term, these forecasts may change due to changing oil prices. Relatively high oil prices, continued momentum in the global economic growth and macro stabilization would support growth. Yet, the growth forecast for Russia for 2018 has been slightly decreased to 1.5%.
A strategic focus on digital transformation has enabled Russia to build a national digital infrastructure. However, to gain significant socio-economic benefits from these changes, Russia will need to implement policies that accelerate the digital transformation of the economy’s traditional enterprise sector, and promote R&D, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Russia Economic Report 38
The World Bank, November 2017
Russia Economic Report 37
The World Bank, May 2017
Russia Economic Report 36
The World Bank, November 2016
Russia Economic Report 35
The World Bank, April 2016
Russia Economic Report 34
The World Bank, September 2015
Russia Economic Report 33
The World Bank, April 2015
Russia Economic Report 32
The World Bank, September 2014
Earlier Russia Economic Reports can be downloaded through the World Bank's Documents & Reports.