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World Bank downgrades Russia’s economic outlook for 2015

January 14, 2015, 9:05 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
Low oil prices will weaken economic activity in major exporting countries, like Russia, while oil importing countries, including China, will be the big winners
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© ITAR-TASS/EPA/ANDREW GOMBERT

WASHINGTON, January 14. /TASS/. The World Bank has downgraded its expectations for Russia’s economy in 2015, saying that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to decline by 2.9%

The bank said in the Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report published on Tuesday that sustained low oil prices will weaken economic activity in major exporting countries, like Russia, while oil importing countries, including China, will be the big winners.

Russia’s economy will get “barely back into positive territory in 2016 with growth expected at 0.1%,” the report says. The World Bank earlier projected Russia’s GDP to contract by 0.7% in 2015 and increase by 0.3% in 2016.

The report said the tensions between Russia and Ukraine, the associated economic sanctions, capital flight and limited access of Russian companies to the international capital markets are the key factors behind the poor economic outlook.

Russia’s Economic Development Ministry said in December it expects a 0.8% fall of the GDP in 2015 in contrast to the original expectation of a 1.2% growth.

The World Bank has also lowered its forecast for Ukraine’s economy, which has been severely hit by the months-long conflict, “with output estimated to have contracted an estimated 8.2% in 2014.”

"Ukraine's economy is facing high levels of uncertainty. In the baseline scenario, which assumes no further escalation, we expect a slowdown in 2015 and the recovery in the 2016 and 2017 years," the report says.

The recession in Russia holds back growth in Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a loose alliance of former Soviet republics, “whereas a gradual recovery in the Euro Area should lift growth in Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey.”.

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