MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. The beginning of 2019 will be a challenging period for the Russian economy because of external and internal factors, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel on Monday.
"The beginning of 2019 will be the most challenging period for the economic dynamics. We have the whole range of factors converging now: this is the challenging global situation, volatility on commodity markets, and declining demand for Russian export products at large due to global economy’s slowdown. The VAT increase in Russia will take a portion of consumer demand in particular. The Central Bank’s policy for restriction of potential risks of inflation pressure growth in future will also influence in a restrictive way on economic dynamics and lending in early 2019," the minister said.
According to the latest data, corporate lending growth rates starts slowing down, which will also influence on economic dynamics in early 2019, Oreshkin said.
The second half of the year "will be more positive" and national GDP growth will be 1.3% in 2019, he added.