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    Russia's Economic Growth to Stand at 1-2% in 2016 - Minister

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    The Russian Ministry of Economic Development predicted a GDP decline of 3.3 percent.

    KUALA LUMPUR (Sputnik) — Russia's economic growth is set to stand at one to two percent in 2016, rather than the previously forecast 2.3 percent, the country's Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Tuesday.

    "In 2015, we expect a [GDP] decline of 3.3 percent," Ulyukayev told reporters, adjusting a previous forecast of a 2.8 percent decline.

    "We are adjusting 2016 as well," he added, stating that the GDP growth is likely to range from one to two percent. According to the minister, IMF's 0.2 percent growth forecast for Russia is too pessimistic.

    On August 3, the IMF predicted a 0.2-percent growth in Russia next year, following a 3.4-percent contraction in 2015, as Western sanctions and the drop in global oil prices have affected the country's economy.

    Russian Economic Development Ministry Lowers Oil Price Forecast for 2016

    Russia's Ministry of Economic Development has lowered its oil price forecast for 2016 from $60 to $55 per barrel, Ulyukayev said.

    "Based on the forecast of an average oil price of $55 next year, we believe that the average ruble rate against the dollar will be a little better than this year," he told reporters.

    Global oil prices have been on a downward trend beginning last year, from an average of over $100 per barrel. This week, Brent crude prices reached six-year lows, hovering at slightly lower than $43.

    As one of several resource-rich countries reliant on oil exports, Russia has had to contend with the price slide attributed to oversupply and reduced worldwide demand.

    Speaking to reporters at the East Asia Summit (EAS) in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, Ulyukayev said the Russian economy had "bottomed out." He forecast that Russia’s national currency, the ruble, would stabilize as soon as oil prices "seek out a new equilibrium."

    The minister added his 2015 estimate for capital flight was at $93 billion, due to slow down to $70 billion next year. His revised inflation forecast stood at 11 percent, in comparison to the previous 11.9 percent.

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    Tags:
    oil prices, dollar, ruble, Russian Ministry of Economic Development, Alexei Ulyukayev, Russia
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