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WASHINGTON, December 9. /TASS/. The World Bank has reduced its economic outlook for Russia to a contraction of 0.7% in 2015 and a 0.3% growth in 2016 to reflect a further decline and increased volatility in global oil prices, the bank said in a statement on Tuesday.
The new baseline scenario assumes an average oil price of $78 per barrel for 2015 and of $80 per barrel for 2016.
“In the baseline scenario, investment is projected to contract for a third year in a row in 2015, because of continued uncertainty, restricted access to international financial markets by Russian companies and banks, and lower consumer demand,” Birgit Hansl, World Bank Lead Economist for Russia, said.
“For companies in the natural resource sector, lower oil and commodity prices are expected to negatively affect investment decisions. For the first time since 2009, consumption growth is expected to decline, following a negligible expansion in 2014.”
The lower-case scenario assumes an average oil price of $70 per barrel in 2015 and $72 per barrel in 2016. In this scenario, the Russian economy is projected to contract by 1.5% in 2015, before expanding mildly by 0.3% in 2016, the bank said.
The uppercase scenario assumes an average oil price of $85 per barrel for 2015 and $90 per barrel for 2016. At these prices, the Russian economy is expected to avoid a recession in 2015 and to achieve an expansion of 0.5% in 2016, the authority said.