While growth slowed slightly from 2.1 % y-o-y in the fourth quarter of 2019, it was a relatively good performance on the cusp of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Russia’s statistical agency, Rosstat, has revised GDP’s quarterly growth numbers extending back several years. However, new quarterly growth paths have not led to revisions of the annual GDP growth figures, but aggregate demand components for 2019 have been revised. Revisions have been quite modest (BOFIT Weekly 7/2020), though. Private consumption growth slowed from 3.3 % in 2018 to 2.5 % last year. Fixed investment was up by 1.5 % last year, and the volume of exports decreased by 2.3 %.
The news pages of the Moscow-based RBC media group report that, according to finance ministry information, nominal GDP contracted in April by 28 % y-o-y, an amount that corresponds to a loss of 20 % of real GDP.
The Central Bank of Russia also released detailed statistical information on operation of the payments system. In April, payments made through the system ran at about 20 % below normal, but changes in payment activity varied tremendously across branches. For example, payment volumes in many industrial branches rebounded to levels close to previous years by early May. In contrast, payments in service branches ran well below normal. Restaurants and tourism-related businesses were among the hardest hit.
Russian GDP growth had been making a comeback before the coronavirus pandemic struck
Sources: Rosstat, Macrobond and BOFIT.