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RUSSIA: PM says budget deficit to fall almost by half next year

posted onJuly 6, 2017

The Russian federal budget deficit for 2018 is expected to be 1.5 trillion rubles ($25.4 bln) according to the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. Speaking about the 2018 budget at a government meeting on Thursday the official said that "revenues are planned at 14.7 trillion rubles ($249 bln), expenditures - at 16.2 trillion rubles ($274 bln). Therefore, the deficit [will be] around 1.5 trillion rubles" adding that the Finance Ministry “ needs to continue efforts aimed at reducing budget deficit," as "last year’s budget deficit was 3 trillion rubles."

According to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, the 2018 deficit will be the lowest in recent years. "The budget deficit in 2018 will stand at 1.6 percent of the GDP … This is the lowest deficit in recent years” Siluanov stated at the meeting.

Russia's PM also said that “We expect a 2% gross domestic product growth according to the estimates of the Economic Development Ministry this year… it is evident, that we will have growth.”

According to Medvedev "investment and consumer demand will be recovering gradually, and real incomes are to go up." Inflation is not going to exceed 4%, he added.

As Prime News Agency reports, the official also said although there are some optimistic estimates, Russia’s macroeconomic forecast has to provide a safety cushion as the country’s economy will be affected by negative factors, including prolongation of anti-Russian sanctions and restricted access to the capital and technology markets

“We base our budget formation work on the fact that stability and balance of the budget system must be maintained in any situation on the crude market and any other external events,” Medvedev said.

Sources: TASS, Ria Novosti, PRIME