Russia: GDP growth moderates in 2012
January 31, 2013
According to the flash estimate published by the Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) on 31 January, GDP grew 3.4% in the full year 2012, which is down from the 4.3% expansion recorded in 2011 but broadly in line with the 3.6% expected by FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists.
The annual result reflected a moderation in domestic demand, whereas the external sector improved compared to the previous year. Private consumption increased 6.6% in the full year 2012 (2011: +6.4%), while fixed investment expanded 6.0%, down from a 10.2% expansion in the previous year.
Meanwhile, the contribution from the external sector to overall growth increased compared to the previous year, as exports improved while imports moderated. Exports expanded 1.8% in 2012 (2011: +0.3%), while imports increased 8.7% (2011: +20.3%).
At the sector level, the annual result was underpinned by a 3.8% drop in the agricultural sector. The reading was affected by an unfavorable base of comparison, as agriculture had surged 16.9% in 2011 as a result of a bumper harvest. In addition, harvests were heavily affected by the heat-wave and subsequent drought which swept the country during the summer. Moreover, industry decelerated compared to the previous year (2011: +4.0%; 2012: +2.2%). In contrast, services accelerated from a 3.3% rise in 2011 to a 4.8% increase in 2012.
Based on full-year figures, the economy grew 1.8% in the fourth quarter of 2012, which, if confirmed, would mark the slowest quarterly performance since the fourth quarter of 2009.
The government expects GDP to expand 3.6% in 2013, down from a previous 3.7% forecast, and to accelerate to 4.3% in 2014.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions