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18.07.2019 14:55 IMF Downgrades Russia`s 2019 GDP Growth Forecast To 1.2%

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a press release on Wednesday that it downgraded its forecast for Russia`s gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2019 to 1.2 percent, raising the forecast for 2020 to 1.9 percent. In January, the IMF downgraded its forecasts for the growth of the Russian economy in 2019 and 2020 by 0.2 and 0.1 percentage points respectively, to 1.6 percent and 1.7 percent respectively. The head of the IMF mission in Russia, James Roaf, said in May that the fund would present a new forecast within a month or two. "Growth is projected at 1.2 percent in 2019, reflecting a weak first quarter estimate, lower oil prices and the impact of the higher VAT [value-added tax] rate on private consumption. At the same time, GDP growth should be supported by an increase in public sector spending in the context of the national projects announced in 2018. Inflation has begun to fall and is expected to return to the 4 percent target by early 2020," the IMF said. According to a table attached to the press release, the IMF expects Russia`s GDP growth in 2020 to reach 1.9 percent.

14.07.2019 15:07 Russian inflation could come in below 4% in 2019

The chief economist of Russian state-owned retail bank Sberbank Anton Stroutchenevski says that inflation could end this year at below 4%. If it does that would be well below the consensus. Inflation fell to a historic low of 2.3% last year, but by the end of the year it had ticked up to around 5% and was spurred on by a 2pp hike to VAT rates in January. However, economists were surprised how fast those inflationary pressures receded and now they are surprised that inflation has continued to fall faster than expected. The inflation question is important as lower than expected inflation will allow the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) to cut rates more aggressively. After the first quarter Russian growth came in at 0.5% -- well belwo consensus cuts are needed and some analysts speculate that the CBR resume cutting rates at the upcoming meeting in July.

07.07.2019 17:21 Russian GDP growth to pick up, modestly

The scheduled pick-up in state-sponsored investments leaves hopes for a recovery in Russian GDP growth following the disappointing 0.5% y/y in 1Q19. However, the weakness in exports and consumption, which have little fundamental support now, suggests that the recovery, at least in 2019, will be quite modest. The recently released structure of the 1Q19 GDP growth by usage supports our earlier take that at least part of the deceleration of the GDP growth from 2.3% in 2018 (including 2.7% y/y in 4Q18) to the disappointing 0.5% y/y in 1Q19 was due to temporary factors, mainly related to the budget spending.

30.06.2019 17:29 US economy remains on solid footing

The US economy grew at an annualised rate of 3.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, the government said in its third and final reading on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the period. The figure confirms that the economy, which has been facing headwinds from the trade war with China, got off to a solid start this year, the Efe news reported. The Commerce Department report showed that the economy grew during the January-March period in line with economists` forecasts and at a rate well above the 2.2 per cent growth registered in the fourth quarter of 2018. In the first quarter, the economy grew at the highest rate for a January-March period in four years, confirming that the world`s largest economy continues to enjoy prosperous times after ending 2018 with GDP growth of 2.9 per cent, the highest rate since 2015.

19.06.2019 21:43 Fitch downgrades Russia`s GDP growth to 1.2% for 2019

Fitch Ratings downgraded Russia`s GDP growth forecast for 2019 from 1.5% to 1.2%, following an unexpectedly weak economic performance in the first quarter. The agency still believes GDP growth will accelerate to 1.9% in 2020 and 2021, after the government`s RUB27 trillion spending programme on infrastructure and the social sphere kicks in, coupled with slowing inflation and the waning effect of the VAT hike that is expected to push drive consumption. As analysed by bne IntelliNews, the Russian economy is stagnating in the beginning of 2019 and Russian President Vladimir Putin`s plan to revitalise it with the 12 national projects is off to a very slow start. Previously in June the World Bank (WB) also cut its 2019 GDP growth outlook for Russia from 1.5% to 1.2% in the latest Global Economic Prospects report. This makes the second time Russia`s GDP growth forecast for 2019 was cut by the bank.

08.06.2019 15:08 Russia kicks off economic forum, but its wealth is on shaky ground

Russia began its annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Thursday, an event at which it will try to boost its appeal to international businesses and investors. Russia has been hit by five years of international sanctions on its economy following its annexation of Crimea and role in pro-Russian uprising in Ukraine. It is also not immune to the effects of the U.S.′ trade war with China which is putting the brakes on global growth. Frederic Oudea, president of the European Banking Federation and CEO of Societe Generale, told a Russian economy panel at SPIEF Thursday that while the country`s finances were not faring too badly given the global environment, sanctions remained a hurdle. In this world of uncertainty I think Russia has done pretty well in the last few quarters. Of course, the international sanctions remain an obstacle, a handicap to create more positive momentum and more structural confidence, he said. A stalling in Russia`s economy is borne out in the latest growth data that revealed the economy had slowed in the first quarter of 2019 to its weakest level since late 2017. In May, Russia`s Economy Ministry had already warned of lower growth in 2019, forecasting 1.3% this year. Meanwhile the Central Bank of Russia expects GDP to grow by 1.2 - 1.7% this year with both domestic and external factors hampering growth.

30.05.2019 22:23 First-quarter economic growth up 3.1%, slightly better than Wall Street expected

The U.S. economy grew by 3.1% to start the year, slightly better than expected and providing some relief at a time when recession fears are accelerating, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. First-quarter gross domestic product beat the 3% Dow Jones estimate but was lower than the initial 3.2% projection from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The decrease came due to downward revisions to nonresidential fixed and private inventory investment, two key drivers to GDP. The new numbers, which represent the second reading, also reflect upward revisions to exports and personal consumption expenditures. Corporate profits also weakened, falling 2.8% across all companies and 0.5% in the S&P 500. Inflation indicators also were weaker than expected, with core personal consumption expenditures up just 1.03%

24.05.2019 19:16 P Morgan slashes second-quarter GDP forecast to just 1%

J.P. Morgan economists said they now see much slower second-quarter growth of just 1%, down from their prior forecast of 2.25% and way off the 3.2% reported in the first quarter. The April durable goods report was bad, particularly the details relating to capital goods orders and shipments. Coming on the heels of last weeks crummy April retail sales report, it suggests second quarter activity growth is sharply downshifting from the first quarter pace, the economists wrote. The Atlanta Fed`s GDP Now tracker has GDP growth for the first quarter at 1.3% for the quarter.

13.05.2019 20:49 Russian inflation to reach 4% target in Q1 2020

Annual inflation in Russia is slowing and will reach the central bank`s 4% target in the first quarter of 2020 even though inflationary expectations remain high, the bank said in a report on Monday. The report, dated April, also said that inflation measured in monthly and seasonally-adjusted terms has already slowed to be in line with the central bank`s target. Economic growth is now expected to pick up starting in the second quarter of 2019, the central bank said. Russia`s consumer price index (CPI) rose 5.2 percent in April in year-on-year terms, in line with analysts` expectations, after a 5.3 percent increase in March, the statistics service said. Month-on-month inflation was at 0.3 percent in April, the same level as in March.

04.05.2019 15:30 Russian defense spending is much larger, and more sustainable than it seems

The United States has a basic problem: Devising a strategy toward great power adversaries necessitates having some reasonable estimate of their economic and military power. We do not do this especially well. Ask yourself: Do we really know how much our adversaries spend on their military, and what they are getting for their money? Russia, for example, presents a glaring problem for academic and policy circles alike. Most comparisons are done in current U.S. dollars based on prevailing exchange rates, making Russias economy seem the size of South Koreas. This approach is useless for comparing defense spending, or the countrys purchasing power. Yet, it is used frequently to argue that despite a large military modernization program, and a sizable conventional and nuclear deterrent, Moscow is a paper tiger. As a consequence, the debate on relative military power and expectations of the future military balance is terribly warped by a low-information environment.


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