Russia's GDP grew by 2.3% - at least officially

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 09 Feb 2019 by Alex Teddy

The Russian Statistical Commission (Rosstat) announced that in 2018 the GDP grew by 2.3%. This is surprising and most of the growth occurred in the last quarter of the year. In the first nine months growth was only 1.6% which makes the October to December period all the more remarkable. 2.3% exceeds official expectations of 1.8%. Revisions of construction data partly explains the fast growth. Construction grew by 5.3% - the highest in ten years. Investment was 2.3% in 2018 which is feeble. It was over 5% in 2017. Household consumption was 2.2% which is lower than 2017 when it was 3.2%. Yamal LNG contributed 0.4% to GDP. 2.3% is the best figure since 2012. Rosstat sometimes 'massages' data rather roughly. Moreover, the situations varies considerably between different sectors of the economy. The extractive industry was responsible for 11% of GDP which grew by over 3%. Oil production was the highest since the 1980s. There was a 6.3% in exports meaning that sanctions are not having a huge impact.

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