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PM Medvedev stresses Russia braved crisis, decline in GDP halted

Russia has learned how to cope with economic difficulties, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said

SOCHI, February 27. /TASS/. Russia has managed to weather the crisis, sparked by global economic difficulties, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a plenary meeting of the Sochi-2017 Russian Investment Forum.

"Today we can surely say that we have learned how to cope with all these challenges, the decline of the gross domestic product has ceased," the prime minister said.

Medvedev cited January’s statistics, which showed that real disposable incomes grew by about 8% when compared with last year’s figure. According to him, a one-time lump-sum pension payment played an important role in this improvement.

"But even without taking into account this one-time payment, our citizens’ real incomes began to grow slowly. So, this trend needs to be fortified. As you know, current inflation is a record low for modern Russia - about 5.4% in 2016 and 5% in January 2017. Not long ago, at the end of 2015, inflation stood at nearly 13%. Of course, it is entirely realistic to bring inflation down to 4% this year," he noted.

Speaking about the situation on the labor market, Medvedev noted that it had stabilized.

"We have coped with unemployment. Nonetheless, we must now think about tackling other issues. Our medium-term plan contains a number of measures to overcome demographic constraints, which can hinder the country’s development later on. They cover almost all areas such as healthcare, social policy, and immigration," Medvedev said.

Mechanism to simplify hedging currency risks for Russian exporters

A mechanism should be developed to simplify hedging currency risks for Russian exporters, Prime Minister Medvedev stated.

The new government plan will contain additional measures on transforming the economic structure: non-resource export growth, implementation of new investment projects and bolstering the development of small and medium enterprises, he said.

"I suggest implementing a range of steps in the near future. Firstly, to develop a mechanism that will simplify hedging currency risks for Russian exporters. We simply do not have such a mechanism. The case in point is to create a one-stop shop for exporters to fix future cash flow from export supplies in ruble equivalent.