Russia may achieve a 2018 budget surplus of RUB440.6bn ($7.1bn), instead of suffering the previously expected deficit of RUB1.27 trillion ($20.5bn), the government said on May 10.
Such a surplus would equate to 0.45% of GDP instead of the previously expected deficit ratio of 1.3% of GDP, according to this year’s amended draft federal budget for 2018, Tass reports.
The Finance Ministry also lowered its projected inflation levels, to 2.8% from the previously expected 4% The Russian central bank earlier said that inflation is expected within the interval of 3-4% this year and at about 4% next year.
Inflation has been creeping up this year but remains on the level of 2.2%-2.3% - a post Soviet record low. The recent tumble of the ruble against the dollar caused by the imposition of new US sanctions on April 6 is expected to stoke more inflation.
The ministry also revised its estimated Russian budget revenues for 2018, from RUB15.157 trillion to RUB17.032 trillion.
The amended budget increases projected additional oil and gas revenues nearly fivefold, to RUB2.74 trillion from the previously estimated RUB527.6bn. Average oil prices this year have been over $60 per barrel each month and topped a four-year high of $77 on May 10.
Starting in 2018, additional oil and gas revenues received from the price of Urals crude oil above the base of $40 per barrel in 2017 prices, will be allocated to reserves instead of expenditures. The base price will be adjusted by 2% annually, also starting in 2018.