Russia: Economic growth picks up in the fourth quarter
April 1, 2011
GDP expanded 4.5% in the fourth quarter over the same period last year, according to a more detailed estimate released by the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) on 1 April. The reading was up from the 3.1% year-on-year growth (previously reported: + 2.7% yoy) tallied in the previous 3-month period but fell short of market expectations of a 4.8% increase. The domestic sector improved over the previous quarter, driven by an acceleration in fixed investment (Q4: +11.5% yoy; Q3: +5.0% yoy), which compensated for a moderation in private consumption (Q4: +2.7% yoy; Q3: +5.1% yoy). That said, exports of goods and services accelerated compared to the previous quarter, rising an annual 5.0% (Q3: +2.2% yoy) while import growth eased slightly to 30.1% (Q3: +34.8% yoy). As a consequence, the net contribution of the external sector to overall growth, while remaining negative, stepped up from minus 10.2 percentage points in the third quarter to minus 9.6 percentage points in the fourth. At the sector level, the reading was driven by strong growth in the industrial sector and an acceleration in the services sector. The consequences of adverse weather conditions during the summer 2010 continued to dent the agricultural sector, which contracted 6.9% in Q4, nonetheless marking an improvement compared to the 18.4% drop recorded in the previous quarter. Based on quarterly figures, the economy expanded 4.0% in 2010, confirming the result of a preliminary estimate released on 31 January. The result contrasted the 7.8% contraction recorded in 2009 and was in line with Consensus Forecast panellists' expectations. The Ministry of Economic Development expects the economy to expand 4.2% in 2011. In 2012, the Ministry sees economic growth moderating to 3.9%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions