Russian Central Bank expects growth to pick up in H2

The Russian Central Bank expects the economic growth to pick up in the second half of this year, First Deputy Governor of the Russian Central Bank Ksenia Yudayeva said Monday.

"There is no reason to doubt that the economic growth will begin to accelerate again in the second half of the year, when fiscal measures are applied," Yudayeva said at the Russian Business Week conference.

She did not specify what fiscal measures would be adopted to stimulate the growth.

Last month, the Central Bank said that the newly received budgetary funds would be used to raise government spending, including investment.

Yudayeva said that a slowdown of the economic growth is expected in the first half of this year, but the situation is predictable and controllable.

In February, the Central Bank forecast the GDP growth would slow down to 1.2-1.7 percent this year from 2.3 percent in 2018, with the value added tax (VAT) increase to 20 percent from 18 percent having "a slight constraining effect on business activity, mostly early in the year."

But assessing the situation in the Russian economy at the beginning of 2019, Yudayeva said that the worst scenario did not come true.

According to the official, prices rose more slowly and smoothly than expected in response to the higher VAT, while "many one-off factors acted in the opposite direction."

She said that a rapid price increase was noted at the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019 for some commodity items, primarily foodstuffs, but currently there is a correction of the prices, which works to stabilize inflation.

In addition, the stronger ruble, which has appreciated since the beginning of the year, affects the inflation situation favorably, Yudayeva added. 

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency