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IMF upgrades outlook for Russia’s GDP in 2016

January 16, 17:17 UTC+3

The IMF upgrades estimate of Russia’s GDP decline in 2016 to 0.6% from 0.8%, keeps outlooks for 2017, 2018 unchanged

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WASHINGTON, January 16. /TASS/. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has upgraded its outlook for the dynamics of Russia’s GDP for previous year and kept outlooks for this and next year unchanged.

According to the renewed analytical report that was circulated in Washington on Monday, the IMF thinks that in 2016 the Russian economy fell by 0.6% not by 0.8% as it was expected last October. Just like in October, the IMF expects the Russian economy to grow by 1.1% in 2017 and by 1.2% in 2018.

Commenting on the figures the IMF noted that in the second half of 2016 "activity in Russia was slightly better than expected, in part reflecting firmer oil prices."

According to the new report, "oil prices have increased in recent weeks, reflecting an agreement among major producers to trim supply."

The assumed oil price based on futures markets (as of December 6, 2016) is $51.2 per barrel in 2017 and $53.1 in 2018. In 2016, the average price was $42.7 per barrel in 2016, the report said.

Since August 2016, the US dollar has appreciated by more than 6%, the IMF experts said.

"The currencies of advanced commodity exporters have also strengthened, reflecting the firming of commodity prices, whereas the euro and especially the Japanese yen have weakened. Several emerging market currencies depreciated substantially in recent months-most notably the Turkish lira and the Mexican peso-while the currencies of several commodity exporters-most notably Russia-appreciated. Preliminary data point to sharp nonresident portfolio outflows from emerging markets in the wake of the U.S. election, following a few months of solid inflows," the report said.

Earlier this month, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund David Lipton told TASS that the in the next five years the average annual growth of the Russian economy will be 1.5%, but it makes sense for the country to strive for higher growth rates.

"During that period Russian living standards have stopped converging to European levels. And with 1.5% growth, which is our present forecast for the next 5 years, Russian living standards wouldn't converge at all because European growth is about the same 1.5%. So I think if Russia wants to be catching up to the living standards elsewhere in the advanced world it has to aspire to more rapid growth and find ways to achieve it," Lipton said.

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