Russian economy ‘over the worst’ Finance Minister claims

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov

Russian economy: Russia’s Minister of Finance today claimed that Russia was over the worst of its economic crisis and that, although GDP fell by 1.5%  in January, there were signs that the economy had entered a period of stabilisation. “The end of last year and the beginning of this year were especially difficult when we saw volatility in the foreign exchange market and a sharp decline in the value of our assets,” he told a conference of Russian entrepreneurs.”These two shocks hit us hard. Now, in general, we see that the worst is over and …. some signs of stabilisation.”
After falling briefly to 80 to the dollar in mid-December, the rouble has been trading at around 60 against the US currency in recent weeks – but is still more than 40% down from where it was at the beginning of 2103. According to the Central Bank’s latest forecast, GDP is likely to shrink by 3.5 -4% this year and Siluanov is predicting that inflation will slow from its current rate of 16.7%  to between 11% and 12% by the end of  2015.
Addressing the same conference, Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukayev agreed that inflation had peaked and that capital flight would be lower than expected this year.