The Russian economy under Putin: growth factors and impediments to economic development

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Series Details No.20, August 2005
Publication Date 15/08/2005
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After a dramatic economic decline after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the financial breakdown of 1998, the Russian economy has begun to emerge from its deep crisis. The years 1999-2004 were a period of dynamic development in all sectors of Russian economy, and saw a rapid growth in GDP of over 7 per cent per year. Russia owed the excellent macroeconomic results of that period to a combination of favourable factors. The key factors were: high hydrocarbon prices on the global markets; an increase in Russia's international competitiveness thanks to the 'rouble devaluation effect' (following the 1998 financial crash); and the market reforms carried out within that period.

In 2004, despite very high oil and gas prices on world markets, a slowdown of the GDP growth took place. Even though the economy is still developing fairly rapidly, we are able to say that Russia is exhausting those traditional mechanisms (apart from oil and gas prices) which have hitherto stimulated GDP growth. Moreover, there are no new mechanisms which could replace the old ones. In the longer term, these unsolved structural problems may seriously impede Russia's economic growth.

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