World Bank Says Russian Economy To Grow 1.3 Percent In 2017, 1.4 percent in 2018

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The World Bank has forecast Russian economic growth at a 1.3 percent rate in 2017, helped by improving consumption in the country, which is recovering from a two-year recession.

The World Bank report released on June 4 said it sees Russian growth edging up to 1.4 percent in 2018. Growth in 2016 was negative 0.2 percent.

"Russia is emerging from recession, with a diminishing contraction of consumer demand amid increasing price and currency stability, and a positive contribution from exports, the report said.

It added, though, that reduced access to international markets could slow Russian growth. Moscow has been hit by sanctions imposed by Western countries for its interference in eastern Ukraine and its illegal annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

It added that the reduction in "adverse spillover" from recessions in Russia and Ukraine should benefit nearby countries, such as Belarus, Moldova, and Georgia.

"The recession in Belarus shows some signs of abating, amid tailwinds from the Russian recovery. Growth momentum in Croatia, Moldova, and Serbia is steady around potential growth," it said.

However, it said growth in Ukraine is seen slipping to 2.0 percent from 2.3 percent last year.

"Renewed conflict in Ukraine is already taking a toll, and is manifested in weak industrial production data," it said.

Ukraine's declining growth rate for 2017 is nevertheless an improvement from the negative 6.6 percent rate in 2014 and negative 9.8 percent in 2015.

The report said Kazakhstan's economy will likely grow at a 2.4 percent rate this year and 2.6 percent in 2018. Growth in 2016 was 1.0 percent.

Strengthening oil prices and an "accommodative macroeconomic policy stance" will aid economic activity in Kazakhstan, it added.

Worldwide, the report said economic growth will reach 2.7 percent in 2017, up from 2.4 percent in 2016 and helped by an increase in manufacturing and trade, rising market confidence, and stabilizing commodity prices.

It warned, though, that new trade restrictions "could derail the welcome rebound in global trade."

The United States is projected to grow at a 2.1 percent rate, up from 1.6 percent in 2016.

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