29 Sep 2009 17:21

Economic model unchanged; exports, state spending are key - Nabiullina

MOSCOW. Sept 29 (Interfax) - Russia's economic growth model remains unchanged for now and depends for the most part on exports and state spending, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said at the Russia Calling investment forum organized by VTB Capital .

"Our primary concern is how durable growth is, which depends on external demand factors - exports and state spending. The durability of growth is in many ways tied to the growth model. At the moment we are replicating the pre-crisis format," Nabiullina said.

The raw materials-based economy was a factor in growth during the pre-crisis period, but "in essence, the economic boom before the crisis is now a growth factor and also an uncertainty factor for us, including for the balance of payments, for the exchange rate," she said.

As for Russia's current economic situation, she said, "the decline has halted. There is a certain revival in industry and there is cautious optimism." Cautious because much depends on external demand, and domestic demand - investment demand and consumer demand - "is currently stagnant."

State spending to stimulate the economy has been a definite factor in growth. State consumption in the current year accounted for more than 20% of all consumption, compared with last year's figure of about 17%. State investment currently amounts to about 16% of all investment. "Therefore state spending is one factor impacting the recovery," she said.

Post-crisis development and the crisis recovery strategy must include "not only winding down the set of fiscal stimulus measures, but also a gradual retreat from extraordinary dependence on 'mono-exports,'" she said.