Prospect of stable oil prices prompts IMF to brighten outlook for Russia

The prospect of stable  oil prices  this week prompted the IMF to improve its outlook for Russia’s GDP from -1.8% to -1.5% for the current year and  from 0.8% to 1% for  2017.  “The recession is extending into 2016, with the economy expected to contract by about 1% due to lower oil prices, weak household income growth, and fiscal consolidation,” it reported yesterday. “With oil prices expected to stabilize and domestic financial conditions to ease, the economy is projected to start growing again in 2017 by about 1%.”
According to its analysts, inflation had decelerated significantly due to weak economic activity, a tight monetary policy stance, and the government’s restrictive income policies. “Inflation is expected to reach about 6% by the end of 2016 and to fall further towards the central bank’s inflation target during 2017.”