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International Monetary Fund revises outlook for Russia

October 01, 2014, 8:25 UTC+3 WASHINGTON

The GDP growth forecast for 2014 was kept at 0.2%, but the growth forecast for 2015 was lowered to 0.5%

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MOSCOW, October 1. /TASS/. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has reduced Russia’s 2015 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 0.5% from 1%, Russian mission head Antonio Spilimbergo said Wednesday.

The GDP growth forecast for 2014 was kept at 0.2%.

"Geopolitical uncertainties are having a big direct impact on the Russian economy," Spilimbergo said.

Capital outflow will stand at US $100 billion in 2014 and will remain high, albeit below the $100 billion mark in 2015.

The Russian central bank will have to toughen its monetary policy due to high inflation expectations and a weak ruble, Spilimbergo said.

Russia’s economic growth started to slow down back in 2011, he said, adding this trend had emerged before geopolitical tensions.

The IMF has revised its GDP growth outlook for Russia because geopolitical tension persists, he said.

The IMF expects Russia’s capital outflow to hit $100 billion in 2014 and slightly drop in 2015 but will still remain high.

Last week, the World Bank lowered its outlook for Russia’s GDP growth to 0.5% in 2014 from the previous forecast of 1.1%, which was based on the assumption that geopolitical tensions would subside.

The World Bank’s updated outlook predicts low rates of Russia’s GDP growth at 0.3% in 2015 and 0.4% in 2016.

The World Bank said that a return to higher growth in Russia would depend on private investment growth and an increase in consumer sentiment.

The World Bank’s GDP outlook for Russia coincides with the Russian Economic Development Ministry’s forecast for this year but is lower for 2015-2016. Russia’s Economic Ministry predicts GDP growth at 1.2% in 2015 and 2.3% in 2016.

The World Bank’s baseline scenario for Russia excludes a further escalation of geopolitical tensions or additional sanctions.

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