Russia: Economy#

Russia has undergone significant changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union, moving from a centrally planned economy towards a more market-based system. Both economic growth and reform have stalled in recent years, however, and Russia remains a predominantly statist economy with a high concentration of wealth in officials' hands. Economic reforms in the 1990s privatized most industry, with notable exceptions in the energy, transportation, banking, and defense-related sectors. The protection of property rights is still weak, and the state continues to interfere in the free operation of the private sector.

Russia is one of the world's leading producers of oil and natural gas, and is also a top exporter of metals such as steel and primary aluminum. Russia's reliance on commodity exports makes it vulnerable to boom and bust cycles that follow the volatile swings in global prices.

The economy, which had averaged 7% growth during 1998-2008 as oil prices rose rapidly, has seen diminishing growth rates since then due to the exhaustion of Russia’s commodity-based growth model.

A combination of falling oil prices, international sanctions, and structural limitations pushed Russia into a deep recession in 2015, with the GDP falling by close to 4%. Most economists expect this downturn will continue through 2016. Government support for import substitution has increased recently in an effort to diversify the economy away from extractive industries. Although the Russian Ministry of Economic Development is forecasting a modest growth of 0.7% for 2016 as a whole, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is more pessimistic and expects the recovery to begin later in the year and a decline of 0.5% to 1.0% for the full year. Russia is heavily dependent on the movement of world commodity prices and the CBR estimates that if oil prices remain below $40 per barrel beyond 2016, the resulting shock would cause GDP to fall by up to 5%.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$3.745 trillion (2016 est.)
$3.774 trillion (2015 est.)
$3.92 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP (official exchange rate)$1.268 trillion (2015 est.)
GDP - real growth rate-0.8% (2016 est.)
-3.7% (2015 est.)
0.7% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$26,100 (2016 est.)
$26,300 (2015 est.)
$27,300 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
Gross national saving24.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
23.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
23.7% of GDP (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 55.8%
government consumption: 19.9%
investment in fixed capital: 21.6%
investment in inventories: -3.2%
exports of goods and services: 25.8%
imports of goods and services: -19.9% (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 4.7%
industry: 33.1%
services: 62.2% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsgrain, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, vegetables, fruits; beef, milk
Industriescomplete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; defense industries (including radar, missile production,
Industrial production growth rate0.7% (2016 est.)
Labor force77.41 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 9.4%
industry: 27.6%
services: 63% (2014)
Unemployment rate8.2% (2016 est.)
5.6% (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line11.2% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 5.7%
highest 10%: 42.4% (2011 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index42 (2014)
41.7 (2011)
Budgetrevenues: $186.5 billion
expenditures: $236.6 billion (2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues14.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-4% of GDP (2016 est.)
Public debt13.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
9.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as in
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices)7.2% (2016 est.)
15.5% (2015 est.)
Central bank discount rate11% (31 December 2015 est.)
17% (31 December 2014)
note: this is the so-called refinancing rate, but in Russia banks do not get refinancing at this rate; this is a reference rate used primarily for fiscal purposes
Commercial bank prime lending rate12.7% (31 December 2016 est.)
15.73% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$199.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$151.5 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$926.8 billion (31 October 2014 est.)
$1.087 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$818.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$603.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$393.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$385.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$770.7 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Current account balance$38.56 billion (2016 est.)
$69 billion (2015 est.)
Exports$259.3 billion (2016 est.)
$341.5 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiespetroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, metals, wood and wood products, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures
Exports - partnersNetherlands 11.9%, China 8.3%, Germany 7.4%, Italy 6.5%, Turkey 5.6%, Belarus 4.4%, Japan 4.2% (2015)
Imports$165.1 billion (2016 est.)
$193 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery, vehicles, pharmaceutical products, plastic, semi-finished metal products, meat, fruits and nuts, optical and medical instruments, iron, steel
Imports - partnersChina 19.2%, Germany 11.2%, US 6.4%, Belarus 4.8%, Italy 4.6% (2015)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$365.5 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$368.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Debt - external$514.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$520.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$348 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$342.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$359.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$336.3 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange ratesRussian rubles (RUB) per US dollar -
68.06 (2016 est.)
60.938 (2015 est.)
60.938 (2014 est.)
38.378 (2013 est.)
30.84 (2012 est.)