13 Feb 2018 18:59

Russia could have budget surplus of 1.2% of GDP, NWF could grow 3.5 trillion rubles in 2018 - Econ Ministry

MOSCOW. Feb 13 (Interfax) - Russia could have a budget surplus of 1.2% of GDP in 2018 if current oil prices persist, the Russian Economic Development Ministry said in its latest monthly monitoring report.

The National Welfare Fund (NWF) could in that case grow by 3.5 trillion rubles or around $60 billion at the current rate, it said.

The NWF shrank by 23.23 billion rubles in January 2018 to just under 3.73 trillion rubles or the equivalent of $66.26 billion.

The NWF can be invested in infrastructure projects when it reaches 7% of GDP. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in the middle of January that this would not happen before 2019.

The targeted federal budget deficit is 1.271 trillion rubles (1.3% of GDP) in 2018, 819.1 billion rubles (0.8% of GDP) in 2019 and 869.8 billion rubles (0.8% of GDP) in 2020. The last time the budget was in surplus was back in 2011.