Minister: Russian budget deficit could decline to 2% of GDP in 2017

2 May 2017

Russian Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov suggested in an interview with Handelsblatt newspaper that the Russian budget deficit could be reduced to 2% of GDP this year, TASS news agency reports.

“According to the latest calculations, we will be able to reduce the deficit to 2% of GDP this year”, the minister said, noting that the deficit was initially planned at 3.2% of GDP.

Siluanov also pointed out that this parameter is expected to decline to 1.2% of GDP by 2019. The reason for the improved budget situation, he said, is “higher than expected economic growth, better tax administration, and substantial growth in foreign trade”.

“In addition, the budget and financial policy has had a favourable impact on inflation: we already had the lowest inflation in all of Russian history with the 5.6% level seen in 2016. This year it will only be 4%”, he said.

Siluanov also reported that the ministry expects to spend approximately EUR 16 billion on covering the budget deficit this year.

“This year we had planned to take the equivalent of approximately EUR 29 billion [from the fund]. According to the latest forecasts, however, we will be able to reduce this figure to EUR 16 billion”, he said.

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