Spending on imports of goods and services was up about 5 % y-o-y in the fourth quarter of 2016, the first increase since 3Q2013. Goods imports increased by about 10 %. The decline in services imports was down less than in many previous quarters, cushioned by a smaller-than-earlier drop in spending by Russian travellers abroad (-10 %). Russia's export earnings recovered close to the 2015 level. The fourth quarter current account surplus, however, was still relatively small.
The direction of net private capital flows of the corporate sector turned slightly inward in the fourth quarter. The shift came from the sale of Rosneft shares to foreign investors, a transaction that also sharply boosted direct investment flows into Russia. While direct investment outflows remained small, firms took notable amounts of other types of capital out of the country. Bank repayments of foreign debt remained distinctly smaller than in the peak periods of 2014–2015.