5 Jul 2023 10:10

Russian GDP to grow over 2% in 2023 unless there is force majeure - Mishustin

MOSCOW. July 5 (Interfax) - Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has given the most optimistic outlook for the Russian GDP growth in 2023 at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As of April, the official outlook of the Russian Economic Development Ministry for the Russian GDP growth in 2023 stands at 1.2%. The Russian Central Bank also upgraded the 2023 GDP growth outlook to 0.5-2.0% in April, versus -1% to 1% in February. Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Reshetnikov said in June that the actual growth would surpass the official forecast, while Russian Central Bank Chairperson Elvira Nabiullina said that the economic growth kept closer to the upper limit of the Central Bank's outlook for now. Putin said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum he agreed with the experts who forecasted a growth of up to 1.5% or even nearly 2%.

Results of May 2023 and the first five months of the year allow bolder forecasts.

"The national economy continues what I would call its confident recovery despite the sanctions and any hindrances created to our country. As I was preparing [for the meeting with the president], I looked at the numbers of the first five months. Our GDP growth reached 0.6% and, most importantly, 5.4% May on May," Mishustin said.

"Making forecasts may be a thankless task, but while preparing for the meeting with the president, I thought about the growth figures we could forecast for the year. Currently, we can say confidently unless, of course, there are force majeure circumstances, that we should grow more than 2% per year," Mishustin said. The growth is driven by manufacturing industries (+12.8% May on May), including owing to import substitution, he said.

Mishustin added that the official macro-economic forecast would be reviewed in August. "And I believe that it [the outlook for the Russian GDP growth in 2023] will be higher than 2%, judging by the parameters that we see," he said.

The Russian Economic Development Ministry commented on a possible review of the macro-economic outlook and agreed with the opinion that "the economic situation had been developing slightly better than forecasted in April" but declined to say how much the GDP outlook might be upgraded. "The economy continues to adjust, there is an ongoing growth in industries oriented to the domestic market, and export-oriented industries are recovering. Investment activity continues. We will take these trends into account when preparing the forecast," a ministry representative told Interfax.