IMF: Russian economy recovering quicker than expected

IMF: Russian economy recovering quicker than expected

The Russian economy is recovering from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic at a quicker pace than expected, IMF Chief Economist Gita Gopinath said at a special briefing on Tuesday.

"In the case of Russia, we have seen faster recovery. So the first-quarter GDP growth has <...> come in stronger than we were expecting and because of that, it has led to an upgrade," Gopinath said.

The growth of Russian GDP will be 4.4% in 2021, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said earlier in its report on global economic development prospects. The IMF has improved its estimate for this year by 0.6 percentage points compared to its April report.

At the same time, the Fund revised its outlook for 2022 down to 3.1% against 3.8% in April. IMF experts also changed their assessment of the economic downturn in Russia in 2020 from 3% to 3.1%.

"Of course, there are still challenges ahead, the pandemic is not over, we have seen cases going back up, vaccination rates are <..> progressing but still the coverage is incomplete. So, there is much more that needs to be done on that front," she noted.

"The recovery is happening earlier than we had anticipated. As already mentioned, we are seeing signs of that strength, and it's not just the manufacturing sector but also the reopening of the economy and the strength of the service sector," Petya Koeva Brooks, the Deputy Director in the IMF’s Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, said.