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Russia in Crisis: Year One. OSW Report, January 2010

Wisniewska, Iwona and Dubas, Agata and Rogoza, Jadwiga (2010) Russia in Crisis: Year One. OSW Report, January 2010. UNSPECIFIED.

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    Economic conditions which had favoured Russia’s development suddenly changed in mid-2008. The Russian economy was hit, on the one hand, by a drastic slump in oil prices (which fell from nearly US$150 to US$50 between July 2008 and January 2009), and on the other by the outflow of investors (a net of US$130 billion of capital left Russia in the fourth quarter of 2008). Within several months, the financial crisis became an economic crisis affecting the entire economy. The financial reserves accumulated in times of prosperity (more than US$162 billion in the stabilisation funds and nearly US$598 billion in the currency and gold reserve) alleviated the negative impact of the crisis, although this failed to prevent the deep declines in macroeconomic indicators. Russia is one of the states most severely affected by the crisis. In the first half of 2009, its GDP fell by 10.4% compared to the same period in the previous year, while industrial production dropped by nearly 15%, and a decrease in investments of over 18% was reported. The poor economic performance has strongly affected the Russian budget, which reported a deficit for the first time in ten years in 2009. During the first year of the crisis (August 2008 – September 2009), Russia’s financial reserves were seriously reduced as a result of the government’s anti-crisis policy and interventions from the central bank: the reserve fund decreased by nearly 45% to US$76 billion, and the central bank’s reserves shrunk by nearly US$200 billion to US$409 billion. Meanwhile, however, the money in the National Welfare Fund, which had been intended almost entirely to subsidise the Pensions Fund between 2010 and 2015, rose almost three-fold (to US$90 billion). According to government forecasts, the money from the reserve fund is also supposed to be spent fully in 2010. The financial crisis has triggered a dynamic outflow of capital from the Russian market. So-called speculative capital was the first to demonstrate the lack of confidence in the Russian market. In the first half of 2009, the growth rate of long-term investments also decreased noticeably, although no spectacular withdrawal of direct investments from Russia has been observed. The economic crisis has also halted the foreign expansion of Russian private capital, while state-owned capital strengthened its position as an investor. Russia’s raw materials companies continue to be the main category of foreign investors; however, new technologies are gaining prominence as the second main direction of Russian investments.

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    Item Type: Other
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Russia
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Report
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2014 14:35
    Number of Pages: 49
    Last Modified: 12 Dec 2014 14:35

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