JRL NEWSWATCH: “What to Expect From 2019; In 2019, the Russian economy is expected to grow by 1.5 percent, with a slight increase in oil prices” – Moscow Times/ Luis Saenz, BCS Global Markets

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“We at BCS forecast the Russian economy to grow by 1.5 percent in 2019, driven primarily by exporters (investments into new pipelines and other commodity projects), state spending (housing renovation and road constructions in the Moscow area as well as the federal program for infrastructure modernization) and some weak growth in consumption (the negative effect from the VAT hike is likely to be offset by a rise in the pension age). … Our oil price forecast for the new year is an average of $74/bbl Brent – that’s a slight increase on 2018 levels. Inflation in Russia will spike in the first quarter of 2019 following a rise in VAT tax, excises and communal tariffs. The CPI rate could reach 5 percent year on year … the ruble will mostly be driven by geopolitics and … global emerging markets. … we forecast the ruble will trade at close to the current levels …. “

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