MOSCOW, January 27 (RIA Novosti) – Retail sales growth in Russia fell to 3.9 percent in 2013, down from 6.3 percent a year earlier, the State Statistics Service said Monday, the Prime business news agency reported.
The drop marks how dynamism in Russia’s consumer sector has faltered in the face of recent economic headwinds that saw overall economic growth in Russia plummet last year to its lowest level since the 2009 recession.
Retail sales expanded 3.9 percent in December compared with the year before, bringing the absolute value of turnover in the sector in 2013 to 23.7 trillion rubles ($680 billion), according to the State Statistics Service.
Consumer growth in Russia has been a key driver of economic growth, with one report released by Sberbank analysts last year suggesting it was responsible for 80 percent of gross domestic product growth since 2004.
Russian economic growth fell to 1.3 percent in 2013, down from 3.4 percent in 2012. Officials predict economic stagnation will continue, and expect Russia to record growth levels below the world average for several years to come.