Russia's economy could grow by as much as 4-4.5% in 2010 compared with the government's forecast of 3-3.5%, an Economic Development Ministry official said on Tuesday.
"Our forecast for 2010 is moderately optimistic. We expect GDP to grow by 3-3.5% in 2010. Added to the third and fourth quarter growth of 2009, this could be as high as 6%," Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach said.
"Economic growth could be from 4 to 4.5% - this is realistic enough," he added.
In December 2009, the Economic Development Ministry predicted the economy would grow 3.1% in 2010 under a moderately optimistic scenario based on a global oil price of $65 per barrel.
Klepach said, however, that a drop in lending and low consumer demand were the main factors restricting economic growth in 2010, adding that Russia's GDP was expected to grow 5% or more from 2012-2013.
Russia was hit hard by the global financial and economic crisis as a result of its reliance on revenue from oil exports. It was forced to gradually devalue the ruble amid capital flight and a fall in global oil prices, which declined from their peak of $147 per barrel in July 2008 to around $40 per barrel in early 2009.
Russia began to come out of recession from the third quarter of 2009, following a recovery in international commodity markets and government anti-crisis measures, which propped up the national economy and restored consumer demand.
Global oil prices have climbed back to about $80 per barrel since the 2008 global financial and economic meltdown.
MOSCOW, March 16 (RIA Novosti)