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The second shock was the economic sanctions resulting from geopolitical tensions, which negatively affected investor appetite for Russian investments.

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The first shock was the sharp decline in oil prices during the third and fourth quarter of 2014, exposing Russia’s extreme dependence on global commodity cycles.

After fluctuating within a tight band near USD 105 per barrel from 2011-2013, crude oil prices ended 2014 at less than USD 60 per barrel.

Previously, the Bank had expected the price for Urals oil to average USD 35 per barrel and had projected economic growth rising to within a range of minus 0.5% and plus 0.5% in 2017.

Following the economy’s collapse in 2015, analysts surveyed by Focus Economics expect the Russian economy to continue contracting in 2016, although at a more moderate pace.

The unemployment rate inched down to a multi-year low in May, and the Ural oil price rose to the highest level since October 2014 in June.

On 22 June, Russia and OPEC members agreed to raise oil production, a move that should bode well for Russia’s oil revenues going forward. Meanwhile, on 14 June, the government announced an upcoming increase in the VAT and a gradual raise in the retirement age, to keep government finances on a sustainable path.Focus Economics Consensus Forecast panelists see GDP expanding 1.7% in 2018, unchanged from last month’s forecast. Economic Overview of Russia Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the first decade of transition from a centrally-planned economy to market economy was disastrous for Russia: nominal gross domestic product (GDP) fell from USD 516 billion in 1990 to USD 196 billion in 1999, which represented a plunge of over 60%.In an attempt to address the economic turmoil and follow the recommendations from the IMF, the Soviet government began to privatize many Russian industries during the 1990s.As a result, Russia’s economy began to grow again and increased 4.5%, 4.3% and 3.4% in 2010, 20, respectively, before slowing to 1.3% in 2013 and 0.6% in 2014.The Russian economy experienced two major shocks in 2014, narrowly avoiding recession with moderate growth of 0.6%.Parts of this website may be quoted as long as IARD is duly recognized.

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