MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Eurozone countries are trying to convince everyone of the imminent collapse of the Russian economy, while their inflation is higher than in Russia, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, speaking at the congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP).
In this regard, Putin recalled a saying by American writer Mark Twain, who once joked: "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."
"[Inflation in Russia], of course, will be lower than in the eurozone countries, which are endlessly waiting for the collapse of the Russian economy, they are trying to convince themselves and our partners of it. But let us recall again the well-known American writer who once said that reports of his death are greatly exaggerated. That's the case with our economy," he said.
Putin also noted that the growth of retail trade in Russia in April will reach 5%, which is based on the stability of the labor market, lower inflation, and higher wages.
"Domestic demand is growing well. It is expected that as early as April we will reach a retail turnover growth rate of at least 5%, and in real terms. What is important here, what I would like to draw attention to is that this is not about some random upsurge. As experts note, domestic demand has taken on a sustainable trajectory, long-term growth. It is based on the stability of our labor market, an increase in the wages and income of citizens, as well as a decrease in inflation," he said.
Inflation may amount to less than 4% per annum as of late March, Putin said.
"Inflation is expected to be less than 4% as of the end of March. Different experts have varying opinions, including those present here," with a range of 4% or a little less to about 5%, Putin said. "Still, it is clear this will be the target inflation," the head of state added.
"As of March 13, inflation is 7.6%, and by the end of the month, in early April, it will already reach the target," the president concluded.