9 Feb 2023 20:07

Russian economy may stage modest growth in 2023 - Putin

MOSCOW. Feb 9 (Interfax) - Russia's economy may stage a modest growth in 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with representatives of the Russian aviation industry on Thursday.

"I believe to many of those who earlier tried and are trying to create problems for us, it came as a surprise just how effectively we are withstanding threats being created for us in the field of economy and in particular branches of industry. It turned out that the financial system and all branches of industry are working, all branches of the service sector are working. They are working rhythmically, without disruptions," Putin said.

"Moreover, international institutions have to admit that not only has Russia coped with these shocks that were earlier expected, I mean both declining production and the labor market situation, but both international institutions and we are expecting growth this year, although a modest one, in terms of all the indicators - a general growth in the Russian economy. And this means that we have overcome the hardest, I hope, stages of those difficulties they are trying to create for us and we'll go forward," Putin said, talking about Russian economic growth expectations in 2023.

The International Monetary Fund in its latest report at the end of January changed its forecast for Russian GDP in 2023: it now expects GDP to grow 0.3% after previously forecasting decline of 2.3%, and said growth might accelerate to 2.1% in 2024.

The IMF's latest forecast for 2023 is considerably more upbeat than official Russian ones.

The Russian Economic Development Ministry is expecting the economy to shrink 0.8% in 2023 and the Central Bank expects a decline of 1-4%. The ministry plans to adjust its macroeconomic forecast in March-April, as scheduled, and sees no point reacting to momentary oil price fluctuations. The Central Bank will publish its updated forecast on February 10.

Analysts polled by the Central Bank in a monthly survey conducted on January 27-31 expect Russia's GDP to shrink by 1.5% in 2023, though in December they forecast a contraction of 2.4%.

A growth scenario for the Russian economy in 2023 is possible, the government will take measures to implement it, First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov told reporters on February 8.

"There are opportunities for growth in 2023, this is a probabilistic case. In this sense, the IMF evaluates us even better than we do ourselves," he said.