"This year there will also be a small decrease but not 3.7 percent. We thought it would be about 1-percent decline but then corrected and said there would be about 0.7 percent [GDP decline], later – 0.6 percent," Putin said.
"In November, we witnessed a small GDP increase in the country and the decline is likely to amount to 0.5-0.6 percent this year," the president added.
While speaking about budget, Putin said that Russia's budget deficit was expected to total 3.7% of GDP in 2016, which was acceptable.
"Last year the budget deficit was 2.6 percent, I think. This year it will be a little bit higher… At the moment, it is 2.4 percent for a 10-month period, but it will reach 3.7 percent," Putin said at the annual press conference.
"This, in my opinion, is an absolutely acceptable figure, in particular because we still have a positive balance of foreign trade, reaching over $70 billion," Putin said.
At the same time, Vladimir Putin said he was optimistic about capital flight dynamics in the country after the bottom line figure for 2016 looks likely to be $16-17 billion.
"The drop in capital flight numbers is heartening," Putin said at the annual press conference. "Let's look at the figures… $57 billion in 2015. This year, I reckon, it was $9 billion in the first 9-10 months and looks likely to reach some $16-17 billion by the year-end."
"All in all, the dynamics look very promising," Putin added.