Vladimir Putin on achievements of Russian economy in 2015
Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his 11th annual press conference that the Russian economy has passed the peak of the crisis.
"A year ago, when we talked about our plans, knowing that our economy depends on external factors, mainly on oil and gas prices, we expected Brent to be worth $100 dollars per barrel. But crude prices have halved to $50 per barrel and we have had to recalculate everything. We calculated the budget for next year using this figure, but now it is already $38," Vladimir Putin said.
"GDP has fallen 3.7%, inflation has exceeded 12% since the beginning of the year, the real incomes of the population have fallen. However, statistics show that the Russian economy has passed the crisis, the peak of the crisis, in any case. There are signs of stabilization in economic activity. In September-October, the country’s GDP grew 0.3 - 0.1% compared to the previous month. Growth in industrial production was recorded, especially in the Far East. There are positive dynamics in the development of agriculture, and the grain harvest for a second year exceeded 100 million tonnes, which is very good," the head of state said.
"As a result of solid government work the unemployment rate is at around 5.6%. The trade surplus is $126.3 billion. The external debt decreased 13% in comparison with 2014, capital outflow significantly reduced," Vladimir Putin stressed.
"It would be nice if we have access to the foreign refinancing market. We have fulfilled all our obligations before our partners, including to loans from international organizations, we pay everything and in full. Our overall debt has reduced, which is a positive thing," the President said.
"Investors, understanding the realities of our economy, are beginning to show interest in working here. The energy industry is developing, electricity production is strong. The sea port infrastructure has received new capacity of 19.5 million tons, turnover at cargo ports increased by 3%, this is also a very positive factor. We continue a responsible finance policy, keeping the federal budget deficit at 2.8-2.9% of the country's GDP," he noted.
"We have a natural growth of the population: it is a very good indicator, people are able to plan a family. 6.5 million Russian families participated in the maternity capital program. We will continue this program, and in 2016 maternity capital will be 453 thousand rubles. According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, life expectancy will exceed '71 years. We have fulfilled the obligation to index pensions in line with current inflation," Vladimir Putin said.
"The government expects that the Russian economy will grow 0.7% in 2016. This was based on $50 for a barrel of oil. Now the rate is lower and volatility is very high, so the government is preparing the script of any developments. It is necessary to engage in import substitution, which is not a panacea of course, but it means the conversion of a large part of industry, agriculture, increasing productivity, improving the mechanisms of management, creating a more attractive business environment and support for entrepreneurs," the head of state assured.