Russia's economic contraction picks up again in January with 3.1% fall

Russia's economic contraction picks up again in January with 3.1% fall
By bne IntelliNews March 10, 2016

Russia's state-owned development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) reported that January's economic contraction was 3.1% y/y compared with a 3.8% contraction in December, but the fall month-on-month has accelerated.

"In January 2016 the macroeconomic situation was characterised by a continuation of decline of economic activity. The seasonally adjusted GDP contraction in January was -0.2% m/m against a decline of 0.1% m/m in December 2015, but  the annual comparison of GDP y/y has improved as a result of the low base effect from last year," VEB said in a statement, the Vedomosti daily reported. That means the GDP decline has resumed, VEB concluded. 

Elsewhere there are some signs of life. Inflation has fallen into single digits at the start of this year after ending 2015 at 12.9%. Likewise, the collapse of retail turnover slowed to 7.3% in January y/y after a catastrophic 15.3% contraction in December.

The recent rise in oil prices from a low of $27 in January to touch $40 on March 7 should bring some respite if those prices are maintained for any length of time.

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