Russia: Forecast to remain on a moderate growth path

5 min

Detailed data from Rosstat confirmed that the economy grew by +1.8% y/y in Q3, down from +2.5% in Q2 but marking the fourth consecutive quarter of increase after two years in recession. The demand-side breakdown reveals that consumer spending rose by +5.2% y/y in Q3, the fastest pace since Q4 2012, boosted by an improving labor market and record low inflation (2.5% y/y in December, unchanged from November). Fixed investment growth remained solid at +3.9% y/y, supported by lower interest rates, though it lost momentum from +6.3% in Q2 as declining housing prices are likely to have dampened real estate investment. Export expansion picked up to +4.5% y/y in Q3 thanks to higher commodity prices and the improving global trade environment while import growth moderated somewhat to +16.3% y/y. We expect full-year growth of +1.6% in 2017 and a pick-up to +1.9% in 2018 thanks to some one-off factors such as pre-election spending and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.