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Acute phase of crisis in Russian economy is over — Sberbank’s Chief

May 21, 2015, 13:51 UTC+3 ASTANA

According to Russian First Deputy Prime Minister, the worst-case scenarios that were expected in October-November of 2014 did not happen

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© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

ASTANA, May 21. /TASS/. The acute phase of crisis in the Russian economy is over, the head of Russia’s largest savings bank Sberbank German Gref told reporters on Thursday.

"We can’t be sure about anything today, but in my opinion the acute phase of the crisis is over," he said.

Last week, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said that it is not appropriate to constantly appealing to the word "crisis".

According to him, the worst-case scenarios that were expected in October-November of 2014 did not happen.

Russia’s economic growth began to slow down in 2012.

In autumn 2014, the crisis phenomena became obvious. The inflation reached a double digit (11.4%) for the first time since 2008.

In January 2015, prices on food products grew by 21% in comparison with January 2014.

Experts attributed this to the ruble devaluation and price hikes on specific goods after Russia had banned imports of certain goods from the EU and the US in August 2014.

In 2014, GDP grew only by 0.6% against 1.3% in 2013 and 3.4% in 2012. The forecast for GDP growth for this year was negative - 0.8%

The Russian government set up an anti-crisis commission headed by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov to overcome the negative trends in the economy

In January, the Economic Development Ministry worsened its forecast for GDP decline in 2015 to 3% from 0.8%.

Later, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said that the recession in the first quarter would be 2.2%. But according to the recent data of the Federal Statistics Service, in January-March, the decline was 1.9% year-on-year.

The ministry forecasts the decline also in the third quarter but after that the situation is expected to start improving. According to Deputy Economic Development Minister Alexei Vedev, stabilization of the economy is possible in late 2015-early 2016.

Consumer prices growth did not leap as high as it was earlier expected.

Ulyukayev did not rule out that in the end of 2015 consumer prices might grow 11.2% against the previous official forecast of 12.5%.

The rate of inflation began to slow down in April. As of March 31 it was 16.9% and by May 18 the inflation was down to 16.2%.

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