Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"World Bank Slashes Forecast for Russian Economy"

From Fox Business:
The World Bank on Wednesday slashed its forecast for Russia's economy over the next two years, saying growth would stagnate amid a lack of structural reforms and Western sanctions over Russia's role in the Ukraine conflict.

In its biannual report, the World Bank cut its forecast for Russian economic growth to 0.3% in 2015 and 0.4% in 2016 under its baseline scenario from 1.5% and 2.2%, respectively--well below the government's estimates.

Even if Western sanctions are quickly repealed, the economy would only inch upward, while an increase in geopolitical tensions would bring a small recession, the bank said.

Even under the most optimistic scenario, which envisages the full resolution of the geopolitical tensions and an end of all sanctions by the end of 2014, the World Bank sees only a 0.9% growth in 2015, increasing to 1.3% in 2016.

"The economy is at the threshold of recession and will remain there for a while," said Birgit Hansl, the bank's lead economist on Russia and the main author of the report....MORE