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Economists and Officials Disagree On Recovery Forecasts

Published: February 24, 2014 (Issue # 1798)




  • Photo: For SPT

According to government predictions, state companies spending plans are likely to pull the economy out of stagnation toward the end of the year. Other economists, however, remain skeptical of these forecasts.

Figures for January released last week did not give grounds for optimism, and recent news reports have said that Russia may be headed into a recession.

Government officials remained hopeful despite State Statistics Service data showing that direct investment slumped 7 percent compared to the year before while analysts expected a 1.5 percent growth and retail sales growth slowed to 2.4 percent against 3.8 percent growth in December.

Unfortunately, the economy continues to stagnate, but we anticipate an end to this stagnation will come in the second or third quarter, said Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach, PRIME Business News Agency reported Friday.

Several economists interviewed by The Moscow Times disagreed with his relatively rosy outlook.

Judging by the falling levels of investment and production output, we are likely entering a recession, said Valery Mironov, deputy head of the Higher School of Economics Center for Development Institute.

Related: Ruble Continues Fall, Lowest Level Since 2009

Usually a local recession lasts for two to three quarters. So in the third quarter we should be talking not about an end of stagnation but about coming out of a recession, which either has already started or will start soon, Mironov said.

One driver for the reverse trend, Klepach said, will come from state companies like Gazprom, which saw a sharp drop in investment two years ago.

Speaking before investors in Hong Kong, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov echoed the words of his colleague on Friday.

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Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianitys holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the deserts most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDAs Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBAs Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.