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    Russian GDP to Fall Three Percent, Inflation to Stand at 12 Percent in 2015

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    Russia's Ministry of Economic Development predicts that Russia's GDP will shrink by three percent and inflation will hit 12 percent.

    MOSCOW, January 31 (Sputnik) — Russia's Ministry of Economic Development has revised economic forecast for 2015 and expects country's gross domestic product (GPD) to shrink by three percent and inflation to hit 12 percent with oil prices at $50 a barrel, the ministry's head said Saturday.

    "We have issued a forecast for 2015, which is based on the current market prices, that is around $50 per a barrel for the entire year. At the same time, the consensus forecasts are indicating higher rates, but we take the most conservative figures into account. This means quite significant GDP decline of three percent," Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukaev told reporters.

    The minister added that inflation forecast for 2015 was worsened from 7.5 percent to 12 percent, while capital flight from Russia is estimated to be $115 billion.

    Capital investment — cash invested in firms' tangible assets such as building and infrastructure — was likely to fall by 13 percent this year and retail sales by 8 percent.

    Earlier this month, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that with the average oil price at $50 per barrel in 2015 Russia could lose around 3 trillion rubles ($43 billion) in revenues.

    Russia, a country heavily reliant on revenue from oil exports, is currently experiencing significant economic problem due to a sharp decline in global oil prices, which dropped dramatically since June 2014.

    Another reason for economic downturn in Russia is the sanctions imposed by the West against the country over its alleged participation in Ukrainian conflict, a claim that Moscow has repeatedly denied.

    The ruble has lost approximately half its value against the US dollar since mid-2014.


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