BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2018/14

Rosstat reports that seasonally adjusted GDP grew briskly from the final months of 2016 to mid-2017. The revival then came to a halt in the autumn and GDP contracted in the fourth quarter. From four quarters back, GDP grew by slightly under 1 % after the on-year growth in the second and third quarters had been 2.2−2.5 %. This year has seen some improvement. The economy ministry tentatively estimates that GDP grew on-year by around 1.7 % in January-February.

The rise in GDP slowed on easing fixed investment growth towards the end of the year. Fixed investment growth rose to a very rapid pace last spring, which assessments note was supported to a large degree by progress in various major infrastructure projects. Rosstat further reported growing inventories faced a notable turn downwards in the final quarter. In contrast, the recovery in household consumption accelerated in the second half to over 4 % y-o-y and growth of the export volume climbed to about 5 %.

On the production side, the economy's recovery towards the end of the year was hurt especially by a steepening of the decline in industrial output that eventually stabilised this year. Growth in imports slowed in the second half of last year, but was still running above 15 % y-o-y in the fourth quarter.

As usual, Rosstat's release of past year's quarterly data also brought some revisions to figures for the entire year, mostly concerning certain demand-side GDP items. The new data revised the earlier-reported decline in public consumption to slight growth. The pace of recovery in fixed investments increased to over 4 % y-o-y, while the volume of exports grew slightly slower than earlier reported, but still above 5 %. Other focal growth figures remained unchanged. GDP last year grew by 1.5 %, household consumption by nearly 3.5 % and imports by 17 %.

Seasonally adjusted Russian GDP

Source: Rosstat.