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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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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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