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Capital outflow from Russia in 2015 totals $57 bln — official

February 12, 2016, 13:10 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia’s GDP contracted by 3.7% in 2015 due to a decrease of industrial production by 3.4%

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MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Net capital outflow from Russia amounted to $57 bln in 2015, Deputy Minister of Economic Development Oleg Fomichev said Friday.

"Net capital outflow is almost 3-fold less than in 2014; it totals about $57 bln," he said.

According to the Russian Central Bank, the net capital outflow from Russia in 2015 amounted to $56.9 bln compared to $153 bln in 2014. According to the forecast of the Central Bank, capital outflow from Russia in 2016 will amount to $53 bln. The Economic Development Ministry estimates the figure at $50 bln.

The Central Bank said earlier, repaying private external debt, in contrast to previous years, has become the main component in the structure of net capital exports. At the same time, the most significant reduction appeared in external liabilities of banks.

Accodring to the deputy minister, Russia’s economy has adjusted to economic sanctions and low oil prices.

"As of today we see that the Russian economy has gradually adjusted to functioning amid sanctions and unstable and low hydrocarbon prices," he said.

According to preliminary estimates for December 2015, the decline of economic activity almost stopped despite all challenges faced last year, he added.

Russia’s GDP contracted by 3.7% in 2015 due to a decrease of industrial production by 3.4%, the country’s state statistics service Rosstat said. Investments in fixed capital dropped by 8.4% while retail trade turnover shrank by 10%.

The official however noted that Russia didn’t face a serious unemployment rise in 2015 while this year employment risks are much higher.

"We realize that this year risks are high. Whereas last year there was no serious unemployment increase this year risks are obviously higher," he said.

According to Fomichev, the plan is to further implement regional employment programs in 2016. "Currently we’re discussing the scale of this aid," he said.

According to the data provided by Russia’s state statistics service Rosstat, the number of unemployed in Russia stood at 4.264 mln people (accounting for 5.8% of economically active population), a 7.4% increase compared with 2014.

The Economic Development Ministry expects Russia’s unemployment to increase to 6.3% in 2016.

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