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Growing consumption levels will stimulate Russian GDP to 4.25% in 2010

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its forecast of Russia's GDP growth in 2010 to 4.25% from 4% and put the expected inflation rate at 6%, which is 1% less than previous estimates, the head of the IMF's mission Russia, Paul Thomsen, has said.

Growing consumption levels will stimulate Russian GDP to 4.25% in 2010

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has raised its forecast of Russia's GDP growth in 2010 to 4.25% from 4% and put the expected inflation rate at 6%, which is 1% less than previous estimates, the head of the IMF's mission Russia, Paul Thomsen, has said. Growing consumption levels are expected to be the main factor contributing to Russia's economic recovery, Thomsen told a news conference on the results of Russia-IMF consultations on Tuesday. Russia's Economic Development Ministry has predicted that the country's GDP will grow by 4% in 2010. The inflation was also estimated at 6%.


The IMF considers that Russia's economic growth still depends on measures being taken by the government, but expects that the country's economy will gradually become self-sustained, Thomsen said. According to a statement posted on the IMF website, "with limited prospects for further increases in oil prices over the medium term, the strong growth in investment that powered the pre-crisis growth is unlikely to materialize again anytime soon." This means that Russia will recover from the crisis "with notably lower potential growth," the statement said. The IMF praised the Russian government's anti-crisis efforts, including the creation of large reserve funds accumulating super profits from oil exports.


"The Russian authorities responded forcefully to the global crisis. The CBR provided substantial ruble liquidity, and intervened in the foreign exchange market to slow the depreciation of the ruble, significantly reducing its foreign reserves," the fund said on its website. "Meanwhile, the prudent past policy of taxing and saving much of the oil windfall had left significant scope for counter-cyclical fiscal relaxation, despite the easing in the years immediately preceding the crisis, and the government increased the non-oil deficit by nearly 7 percent of GDP in 2009," the statement said. Thus, it said, the Russian government "boldly used the large room for maneuver afforded by Russia' huge international reserves and low public debt." An INF mission visited Russia for consultations on June 2-15.


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