Kremlin finds IMF’s change of tune on Russian economy ‘interesting’

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The dramatically upgraded forecast issued by the IMF for Russia’s GDP growth this year is interesting, said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Wednesday. 

The IMF significantly raised its growth projection for the Russian economy in 2024 in its latest World Economic Outlook update released this week. The Washington-based institution now expects Russian GDP to grow by 2.6% this year, a sharp increase from its October forecast of 1.1% growth. The forecast for 2025 was also increased by 0.1 percentage point from the October estimate, to 1.1%.

“This is very interesting information. You see there is a very big spread in the forecasts of our Ministry of Economic Development, and the central bank, as well as international financial institutions. Therefore, this suggests that, let’s say, the scope for forecasting has been somewhat narrowed,” Peskov said.

The IMF’s upward revision of the Russian GDP growth forecast shows the fund’s acknowledgement that the Russian economy is progressing steadily, Sergey Grishunin, the director of Russia’s National Rating Agency, said.

Earlier this month, the World Bank projected that Russia’s GDP would grow by 1.3% in 2024 and 0.9% in 2025. It added that the Russian economy outperformed expectations in 2023, expanding at 2.6% for the year.

Meanwhile, the Russian Economy Ministry expects the country’s GDP to expand by 2.3% this year, following 3.5% growth in 2023, according to the preliminary reading.

The head of the Russian central bank, Elvira Nabiullina, said last month that GDP is expected to have grown by around 2.7% in 2023, driven by strong domestic demand. For 2024, the central bank’s current projection is of 0.5-1.5% growth. This estimate, however, will be reviewed in February, Nabiullina said, adding that it is important to make “timely decisions” to cool excess demand and reduce inflation.

President Vladimir Putin praised the country’s performance during his annual address in December, claiming the economy had shown strength and stability in the face of outside pressure.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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