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Russia’s GDP growth in 2017 may be two times above 0.6% formal outlook ― finance minister

December 28, 2016, 23:16 UTC+3

The Russian Finance Ministry expects real household earnings to grow 1.5% in 2017, Anton Siluanov noted

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Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

© Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Russia’s GDP growth in 2017 may be twice as high as officially projected 0.6%, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday in an interview with Rossiya 24 TV Channel.

"Growth rates of the Russian economy are not lower than world’s indicators. GDP growth rate in our forecast is 0.6% in 2017. We believe this figure may be almost twice as high ― about 1-1.2%, fairly feasible rates of economic growth," Siluanov said.

Russia’s GDP dynamics will be positive in the fourth quarter of 2016, GDP contraction will total 0.5-0.7% for whole 2016, according to the documents released by the Central Bank this Tuesday.

Real household earnings in 2017

The Russian Finance Ministry expects real household earnings to grow 1.5% in 2017, Siluanov noted. "According to our estimates, about 1.5% in real terms," he said.

The Ministry of Economic Development expects real disposal earnings of the population will grow 0.2% in 2017, according to its base case outlook.

Privatization deals

The government should hold control and the final say in strategic companies after privatization, the finance minister continued

"We are interested in expansion of privatization deals… We will revert to issues of consistent privatization and reduction of the government stake but, I reiterate, to possible levels for the government to have control and the final say in strategic companies nevertheless," the minister said.

The government is considering additional assets to be privatized in 2017, Siluanov said on December 27. The Finance Ministry is seeking to fast-track privatization but the government has not yet finalized the privatization plan and the total amount of revenues to be raised.

According to Siluanov, the plan is to privatize stakes in VTB bank and Sovcomflot shipping company in 2017 to raise 138 bln rubles ($2.3 bln). The minister also denied plans to sell another 10% of Rosneft shares next year.

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