Russian economy sees worst year since global financial crisis
MOSCOW - The Associated Press
AP photoRussia’s economy shrank 3.7 percent in 2015, the worst drop since the depths of the global financial crisis, as the country struggled with a drop in the price of its oil exports and international sanctions, the state statistics service said on Jan. 25.
The decline is the sharpest for Russia since 2009, when the world economy was suffering from the effects of a credit crunch and financial crisis. It matched the most recent prediction from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which forecasts another fall of 1 percent in 2016 before a return to 1 percent growth next year.
The state statistics service also said on Jan. 25 that last year saw a 10 percent drop in retail sales - including a 15.3 percent plunge in December against a year before - and a one-third drop in foreign trade.
Oil and gas contribute around half of Russian state revenues and the government has said it will have to make cuts to the budget for 2016, which was adopted in October and based on an oil price of $50 per barrel. Brent crude oil traded above $31 a barrel on Jan. 25.