Experts Predict ‘Lost Decade’ For Russia’s Stagnating Economy

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A lack of dialogue on economic incentives could threaten future growth (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexandra Prokopenko, Margarita Papchenkova – August 19, 2016) #Russia’s #economy needs powerful external stimuli or fundamental domestic reform in order to avoid further stagnation, a report from the Centre of Development at the Higher School of Economics (HSE) has claimed. The country’s gross domestic […]

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Getting Each Other Wrong

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(Kennan Institute – wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – Maxim Trudolyubov, Senior Fellow, Editor-at-Large, Vedomosti Daily – June 14, 2016) Politicians have to walk the walk in order to be credible. This is even more true in today’s world, given the rise of populist demagoguery and the sorry state of trust between the most important players. The dialogue taking place between Russia, the U.S., […]

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Putin’s Core Support Begins to Waver; Working-class Russians hurt by recession look for someone to blame-in an election year

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Ragozin – June 9, 2016) Russia embarks on an almost two-year-long election season this summer that ends with a presidential contest in 2018. But unlike previous years, the country’s faltering economy has taken its toll on lower-income voters who blame the Duma and the cabinet for their plight. Five years ago, allegations of vote rigging […]

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Three ways out of Russia’s crisis: The plans on Putin’s table …. #RUSSIA

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Russian economists have proposed three programs to help the country get out of the crisis. They were presented to President Vladimir Putin at the session of the Economy Council on May 25. RBTH tries to understand the essence of each plan and how such proposals were realized in the past. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXEI LOSSAN, RBTH […]

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Was Russia’s First Bond Sale in 3 Years a Success?

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – May 26, 2016) [Chart here themoscowtimes.com/business/article/was-russias-first-bond-sale-in-3-years-a-success/570254.html] Bidding opened suddenly on the morning of May 23. After a three-year absence from international markets, and with very little warning, Russia announced it wished to borrow billions of dollars. The Finance Ministry sought to help finance a yawning budget deficit caused by the low price […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian economic slump shows further signs of easing” – Reuters

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Russia’s GDP is still estimated to fall anywhere between 0.2 percent and 1.5 percent in 2016, depending on estimates, but … recent economic activity … showed that the slump continued to ease and fourth-quarter GDP might be positive. Retail sales, a barometer of domestic consumer demand, were down 4.8 percent, but the fall was less than the 5.8 percent seen […]

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Economy Minister Says Russia Out of Recession More Than Six Months

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 20, 2016) The Russian economy has been out of recession for more than six months, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said during a briefing at the Russia-ASEAN summit on Friday, the TASS news agency reported. Russia’s GDP may perform better than the official forecast, which predicted a decline of 0.2 percent, Ulyukayev said, attributing […]

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Russia’s Economy Shows Signs Of Stabilization In First Quarter

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(RFE/RL – rferl.org – May 17, 2016) Russia’s economy contracted by less than expected in the first quarter of 2016 in a sign it may be stabilizing. The Russian state statistics service said on May 16 that the economy declined by 1.2 percent from a year earlier, after falling by 3.8 percent in the final quarter of 2015. Russia’s economy […]

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Russians Face Sustained Declines in Standard of Living for the Foreseeable Future, Economist Says

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(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, May 14, 2016) Dmitry Prokofyev, a St. Petersburg economist, says that barring an unexpected shock, Russia faces declines of its GDP of 1.0 – 1.5 percent a year for the foreseeable future, a trend that will exacerbate differences between life in the megalopolises which may improve somewhat and life elsewhere which will […]

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Russian Economy Shrank Less Than Forecast as Growth Seen Closer

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas – May 16, 2016) Russia’s economy contracted less than forecast in the first quarter, leaving it closer to growth than at any time since it slid into recession last year. Gross domestic product fell 1.2 percent from a year earlier after a decline of 3.8 percent in the previous three months, the Federal Statistics […]

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Russia’s Economy Is Tanking, So Why Is Putin Smiling?

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Evgenia Pismennaya, Anna Andrianova – February 29, 2016) With Russia mired in the longest recession in two decades, there hasn’t been a lot of good economic news lately. But there’s one indicator that’s looking up, and it’s the one that matters most to Vladimir Putin: His hard-currency reserves. The central bank held $379 billion in foreign […]

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Economic Minister says moderate economic growth possible in Russia in 2016

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(Interfax – February 2, 2016) Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev does not rule out the possibility of the Russian economy shifting to moderate growth in 2016. “A shift is already possible this year, perhaps, to moderate, recovery growth in the economy for the time being. We should be prepared for this,” Ulyukayev said at a ministry meeting on Feb. 2. […]

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Kudrin: Sanctions against Russia could start to ease late 2016-early 2017

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(Interfax – January 22, 2016) Relations between Russia and the West are normalizing and sanctions will be lifted, Alexei Kudrin, a former Russian finance minister, said. “I’m sure the sanctions will start to soften at the end of this year or start of next year. Nobody in Russia wants to keep up confrontation. I think the Minsk accords will be […]

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Russia identifies economic backwardness as national security threat

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(Interfax – January 19, 2016) Russia’s new national security strategy identifies the key threats to the country. The main threats to national security in the economic sphere are the low competitiveness of the Russian economy and its continuing dependence on raw material exports, Sergey Vakhrukov, aide to the secretary of the Russian Security Council, told journalists on 19 January, as […]

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TRANSCRIPT: [Putin] at National Entrepreneurs’ Forum Small Business – National Idea?

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(Kremlin.ru – January 20, 2016) Vladimir Putin took part in the plenary session of the National Entrepreneurs’ Forum Small Business – National Idea? The forum examined issues such as support for small and medium-sized enterprises and measures to encourage business activity. The forum, organised by the OPORA Russia national public association of small and medium-sized enterprises, is taking place in […]

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Putin urges government to be ready for any economic scenario

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(Interfax – January 13, 2016) Russian President Vladimir Putin has told the government to closely monitor changes in the economic situation and be ready for any turn. “We should be ready for any scenario,” he said at a meeting with Cabinet members. The president drew attention to how the situation changes on the markets. “I know that the government has […]

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What awaits Russia’s economy in 2016 – collapse or recovery?

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Analysts have reacted to the latest collapse of oil prices with varying forecasts. Some believe oil prices are on their way down to the critical level of $35, which would keep the Russian economy in recession. Others, however, including Western analysts, are of the opinion that 2016 may see the first shoots of recovery. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru […]

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Russia Sees Biggest Decline in Wages, Retail Sales Since 1999

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Anna Andrianova – November 19, 2015) Russian wages and retail sales declined by the most since 1999, a sign consumer demand will remain a weak link in the economy’s efforts to break out of its first recession in six years. Real wages fell 10.9 percent in October from a year earlier, a deeper contraction than the […]

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Minister says Russian economy to resume growth in second quarter of 2016

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(Interfax – November 11, 2015) The Economic Development Ministry expects that Russia’s GDP will fall less fast in the fourth quarter than it did in the third, Economic Development Minister Aleksey Ulyukayev announced at a meeting with entrepreneurs from Baden Wuerttemberg in Moscow on 11 November. RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying that the economy was expected to […]

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Interfax: Russian authorities know how to take inflation under control, to reach plan by yearend – Shuvalov

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MOSCOW. Oct 21 (Interfax) – The Russian authorities know how to take inflation under control; by the end of 2015 it will reach planned levels, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said at the State Duma on Wednesday. “I can say that in terms of growth rates and inflation – which concerned us most of all within the macro […]

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Standard & Poor’s Lowers Russian Growth Forecast

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Peter Hobson – October 16, 2015) Standard & Poor’s has cut its growth forecast for Russia, predicting that lower and more volatile oil prices will make it harder for the country to emerge from recession. The ratings agency said Thursday that the Russian economy would contract by 3.6 percent this year and grow by only […]

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Bank of America Seeing Life Signs in Russia’s Foundering Economy

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Elena Popina – September 27, 2015) [Chart here bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-27/bank-of-america-seeing-life-signs-in-russia-s-foundering-economy] Bank of America Corp. is starting to see faint signs of an economic recovery in Russia. The magnitude of a slowdown in capital investment is easing, while corporate profits have been increasing, a combination that Vladimir Osakovskiy, the bank’s chief economist in Moscow, said could mark a […]

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Sberbank forecasts Russian GDP to contract 0.5% in 2016 – Gref

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MOSCOW. Sept 3 (Interfax) – Sberbank of Russia (MOEX: SBER) expects Russian GDP to contract 0.5% in 2016, bank President and CEO German Gref said on Rossiya 24 television. “Our most realistic forecast assumes economic growth will be negative 0.5%. We do not for now see any sources of growth that would produce serious recovery next year,” Gref said. The […]

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Sanctions not responsible for Russia’s falling GDP, say experts

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According to a new report by Central Bank analysts, sanctions against Russia have not played a significant role in the decline of Russia’s economy, with experts agreeing that low oil prices are principally to blame. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – August 24, 2015) The introduction of Western sanctions against Russia is responsible for only […]

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Russia’s recovery faces a reality check

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Chris Weafer of Macro-Advisory – June 22, 2015) After a relatively positive performance for Russia’s economy in the first quarter, the second quarter has brought more of a reality check, with sharply lower numbers across many categories reported in April and May. The preliminary GDP estimate for April shows a contraction of 4.2% year […]

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Russian Economic Path Is in Eye of Beholder for Putin Allies

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Olga Tanas, Paul Abelsky – June 19, 2015) The Russian economy is sailing along — in the eye of the storm or toward calmer waters, depending on who’s looking. Gauging the health of the economy during the first two days of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum were President Vladimir Putin’s confidantes, past and present. Things […]

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NEWSLINK AFP: Russian bear will roar once more, says World Bank. Russia economy forecast to grow by 0.7pc next year, reversing negative growth forecast

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Russia economy forecast to grow by 0.7pc next year, reversing negative growth forecast The World Bank is seeing some improvement in Russia’s battered economy, predicting it would shrink by 2.7pc this year and return to growth of 0.7pc in 2016.  

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Worst Not Over for Russia as Economy Shrinks 4.3% in April

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – May 28, 2015) Russia’s economic recession deepened in April as the decline in gross domestic product accelerated to 4.3 percent year-on-year, quashing hopes that the worst of the crisis had passed, state development bank VEB said in a report released Wednesday. “The accelerating fall in GDP in April indicates that the crisis still hasn’t passed […]

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NEWSLINK Washington Times: Russia recovery talk premature as sanctions threaten to cripple economy

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Despite a small rebound in world oil prices, “Russia is not out of the woods yet because the sanctions are going to continue to have an impact,” said Steven Pifer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a former State Department official who served in Moscow and a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.   http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/25/russia-recovery-talk-premature-as-sanctions-threat/

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IMF joins ‘worst is over’ crowd by predicting weaker recession for Russia in 2015

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – bne IntelliNews – May 22, 2015) In the latest prognosis of Russia’s economic prospects by the big-league financial institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has presented a revised and more optimistic scenario than some of its peers. GDP will fall by 3.4% in 2015 and return to growth in 2016, with a 0.2% increase […]

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NEWSWATCH Wall Street Journal: The Putin Recession; Russia’s economy keeps shrinking, but the West won’t take advantage

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The Wall Street Journal editors address Russia’s economic crisis and the West’s apparent unwillingness to step up economic pressure. The Russian recession is expected to continue unfolding. An oddity of recent weeks has been the attempt to argue that Russia’s economy isn’t as awful as it looks. Then along comes Friday’s report that GDP fell 1.9% year-on-year in the first […]

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EBRD sees Russia’s GDP contracting by 4.5% in 2015

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – May 14, 2015) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) expects deep recession in Russia to have a larger-than-expected negative spill-over effect on countries with strong ties with its economy, the bank says in its latest Regional Economic Prospects report published on May 14. Russia’s GDP is seen contracting by 4.5% in 2015, […]

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Russia Economy Recovering as Oil Reliance Eases, Dvorkovich Says

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – David Tweed, Haslinda Amin – April 20, 2015) Russia’s economy showed signs of recovery in the first and second quarters amid a declining dependence on oil, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said. “Oil prices are not as important to the Russian economy as before,” Dvorkovich told Bloomberg TV Monday at the World Economic Forum on […]

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World Bank warns of looming two-year recession in Russia

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(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Alexei Lossan, RBTH – April 8, 2015) A report released by the World Bank projects no economic growth in Russia either in 2015 or 2016. This forecast is at odds with the figures from the Russian Ministry of the Economy, which predicts an economic growth of 2.3 percent as early as in 2016. […]

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Ulyukayev: GDP decline won’t exceed 3% in 2015; industrial output to drop 1%-1.5%

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MOSCOW. April 8 (Interfax) – The decline in Russia’s GDP in 2015 will not exceed 3%, industrial production will drop 1%-1.5%, and investment in fixed assets will fall 11%, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said. “We assume that this year under the most conservative estimate of the oil market situation – $50 per barrel – we will have a decline […]

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Russia Frees Itself From Oil’s Curse

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – April 2, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-04-01/russia-s-recovery-won-t-have-to-be-oil-driven] Signs are multiplying that the Russian economy will not die a painful death, but is just taking some long-overdue strong medicine. The country posted unexpected growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, and it can now look beyond oil for drivers of recovery. Today, the Federal Statistics […]

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World Bank Predicts Sanctions Pain, Poverty Rise for Russia

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(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – April 2, 2015) The World Bank predicted Wednesday that Russia’s economy will contract by 3.8 percent this year and continue to underperform in the years to come amid the continuing impact of Western sanctions. Economic problems will also drive down real wages and push about 5 million more Russians into poverty this […]

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NEWSWATCH Reuters: World Bank sees protracted recession in Russia

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[“World Bank sees protracted recession in Russia” – Reuters – March 31, 2015] Reuters covers pessimistic forecasts by the World Bank of Russia’s near-term economic prospects. Russia faces a protracted recession as the impact of Western sanctions lingers and oil prices stay low, the World Bank said in a report published on Wednesday. In its baseline scenario, the bank expected Russia’s […]

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Putin’s Economic Team Plays Houdini

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – March 27, 2015) [Charts here http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-03-27/putin-s-economic-team-plays-houdini] Last week, the Russian central bank’s currency reserves increased for the first time since last July, showing that the economy may have moved past the panic caused by last year’s oil price slump. Perhaps Russia’s improving indicators will convince Western governments that economic sanctions are having no […]

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Russia’s economy in 2015 – more resilient than expected

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Mark Adomanis in Philadelphia- March 26, 2015) How is Russia’s economy doing right now? Pretty clearly, the answer is “not very well.” 2014 was the first year since Putin came to power in which, due to a combination of spiking inflation, plummeting oil prices and flat-lining growth, the average real disposable income actually shrank. […]

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It’s the economy, stupid

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(Business New Europe – bne.eu – MACRO ADVISER: Chris Weafer – February 17, 2015) Chris Weafer is Senior Partner at Macro-Advisory, which offers bespoke Russia-CIS consulting. Bill Clinton famously won the first of his two presidential elections using the slogan: “It’s the economy, stupid”. He recognised that while support for the first Gulf War had been strong, people were starting […]

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Russian economy to enter period of lengthy decline in 2015 – Economic Ministry

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(Interfax – MOSCOW, Feb. 17, 2015) The Russian economy will enter a period of lengthy decline in 2015, the Economic Development Ministry said in its updated forecast. “If major geopolitical risks and hypotheses that oil will average at $50 a barrel persist, then GDP could fall 3%. According to forecasts, the economy will enter a period of lengthy decline in […]

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