The IMF's latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) sees Russian GDP rising by 1.8 % this year and 1.6 % next year. Forecasts for both years were slightly higher compared to July. Most Russian and international forecasters expect Russian GDP to increase by 1.5–2 % p.a. in 2017 and 2018. At the start of the year, most forecasters only expected growth of 1–1.5 %.
There are much larger differences in the outlook for imports this year. Several international institutions, including the IMF, expect imports to rise by about 5 % this year, while Russian forecasters expect roughly double that and thus a considerably smaller current account surplus. For 2018, most forecasters expect import growth of a few per cent.
The longer-term outlook for Russia, however, remains largely unchanged. The IMF estimates that Russia's potential growth is still about 1.5 % a year. The Central Bank of Russia predicts that growth should be about 1.5–2% p.a. during 2019 and 2020, regardless whether the oil price averages 40 or 60 dollars a barrel. The base forecast of the economy ministry foresees growth slightly above 2 % in 2019–20. The ministry estimates that an increase of 5 dollars a barrel in the oil price adds 0.1–0.2 percentage points to economic growth.
Recent forecasts of Russian GDP growth (%)