Russian economic growth slows more than estimated in 2013


Russia’s economy grew at less than half the previous year’s pace in 2013, missing economist forecasts as investment fell amid a record slump in Europe. Officials warned the outlook remains weak for this quarter, Bloomberg.com informs.
Gross domestic product advanced 1.3 percent, the least since a 2009 recession, compared with 3.4 percent in 2012, the Moscow-based Federal Statistics Service reports its first estimate in an e-mailed statement. That fell short of the median 1.5 percent forecast of 19 economists in a Bloomberg survey and the Economy Ministry estimate of 1.4 percent.
The USD 2 trillion economy decelerated for a fourth year as consumer spending, the mainstay of Russia’s recovery, failed to make up for sagging investment and a drop in global demand for oil and natural gas. The slowdown may extend through the first quarter, Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach told reporters in Moscow on Friday.
“This destroys any hope left about a consumption-driven economy in Russia,” Vladimir Miklashevsky, an economist at Danske Bank A/S in Helsinki, said by e-mail. “Sustainable economic growth in Russia will be possible through expansion of private investments only.” Russia’s dollar-denominated RTS stock index has lost 9.7 percent this year, underperforming the MSCI Emerging Market Index, which has dropped 7.1 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The ruble has lost 7 percent against the dollar, making it the third-worst performer this year among 24 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

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