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OECD Economic Surveys: Russian Federation 2009

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Russian Federation 2009

OECD's periodic survey of the Russian economy. This 2009 edition includes chapters on stabilisation and renewed growth, growth-friendly fiscal policy, more flexible exchange rate policy and more effective monetary policy, making the banking sector more efficient and resilient, and improving regulation in goods and services markets.

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Assessment and recommendations

Between the financial crisis which struck Russia in August 1998 and the global crisis which broke out in earnest in September 2008, the country had the strongest decade of growth in its history, with real GDP nearly doubling. This strong increase in output, coupled with the vigorous real appreciation of the rouble, driven mainly by the surge in energy and raw material prices, meant that nominal GDP measured in US dollars rose almost 7-fold during that period, more than in any other major country. Awide range of other economic and social indicators also saw dramatic improvements during those ten years. Total factor productivity grew strongly, real wages soared, and unemployment and poverty rates fell sharply. Strong current account surpluses, combined with a swing in the private capital account from large net outflows to even larger net inflows, pushed international reserves to nearly USD 600 billion, behind only China and Japan. The transformation of the government finances was particularly marked. After defaulting on part of its debt in 1998, the federal government ran a string of surpluses and almost extinguished public debt while building up foreign assets amounting to 13% of GDP by end-2008. The picture for inflation was more mixed, but for most of the past decade inflation was on a trend decline, falling from 85% in late-1998 to single digits by mid-2007. At that time, a combination of surging international food and energy prices and very rapid money supply growth in Russia pushed inflation back up to 15%, before it began to fall again in late-2008 as energy and commodity prices collapsed and money supply growth came to a sudden halt.

English Russian, French

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