Ministry’s new forecast projects GDP growth at 2% in 2017

7 April 2017

Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin, four months following his appointment, has presented a more optimistic updated forecast for Russia’s socioeconomic development until 2020 in which the minister has improved its expectations for growth in GDP, investment, and industrial production. Hopes for a weak rouble are melting as oil prices increase, TASS news agency reports. The Ministry of Economic Development has adjusted its forecast for the RUB/USD exchange rate in 2017 to RUB 64.4/USD 1, however in order to even achieve that level the rouble would have to drastically depreciate before the end of the year.

“The Russian economy has started 2017 on a positive note”, Oreshkin said while presenting the new forecast. “We can confidently say that a phase of active growth has begun”.

According to the new forecast, GDP will grow 2% in 2017 with an average annual exchange rate of RUB 64.4/USD 1 versus the previous forecast of RUB 67.5/USD 1, while inflation hit its target of 4% in May and then decline to 3.8% by the end of the year.

As for the average oil price, the ministry has finally admitted that the price will be higher than the previous three-year forecast of USD 40 per barrel. According to the updated forecast, oil will cost USD 45.6 per barrel in 2017 (under both scenarios), USD 40.8 in 2018, USD 41.6 in 2019, and USD 42.4 in 2020.

Oreshkin said this is the same price from the previous forecast of USD 40, only adjusted for inflation in the U.S.

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