Russia: Gradual recovery of external sector continues at the end of 2016
February 28, 2017
In 2016, exports totaled USD 282 billion, which marked a 17.5% contraction relative to the previous year. The annual contraction was, nonetheless, less pronounced that the 31.3% plunge registered in 2015. Russia’s external sector continued to emerge from the doldrums toward the end of last year. In December, exports expanded 8.3% year-on-year, marking the second month of positive growth—and the strongest expansion in nearly five years—following a streak of 27 months of contractions.
Imports totaled USD 191 billion in 2016, which decreased just 0.8% compared to the previous’ year’s level and marked a notable improvement compared to the 37.3% plunge in 2015. A gradual improvement in domestic toward the end of the year prompted imports to expand 10.6% annually in December (November: +6.4% year-on-year), which represented a fifth consecutive increase.
The trade surplus narrowed from USD 149 billion in 2015 to USD 90.4 billion in 2016, which represented the smallest trade surplus since 2004.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist