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Kremlin admits surprise at Russian economic growth

The country’s GDP is projected to expand by 2.8% this year despite Western sanctions

The Russian economy has stabilized beyond expectations despite Western sanctions, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday at the international exhibition ‘Russia’. He noted that the most recent projections are for 2.8% GDP growth this year, a result that would surpass even the expectations of the Russian authorities.

Despite the very difficult situation over the past year and nine months… the introduction of unprecedented sanctions against us the likes of which the world has never before seen, our government managed not only to stabilize the situation: now our Ministry of Economic Development predicts 2.8% growth of our economy. This is great news, and in many ways this is probably even unexpected for our own government,” Peskov stated, noting that back in April most forecasts had GDP growth this year at only 1.2%.

Peskov stressed that Russia’s economic achievements are the result of “titanic, detailed work” of the country’s financial and economic regulators.

It is now clear that everything that [we] did was absolutely correct, and we are confidently moving forward: production is growing, agriculture is growing,” Peskov stated, referring to several initiatives introduced over the past several months to support the economy, from capital controls to boosting the use of the domestic currency in trade.

Russia’s GDP shrank by 2.1% last year amid the severe economic restrictions imposed by Western states. However, according to President Vladimir Putin, it has completely recovered from this downturn as of October this year.

READ MORE: IMF raises Russian GDP growth forecast by almost 50%

Western financial institutions have also been noting Russia’s economic rebound, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revising its growth forecast for the country’s economy twice so far this year. It now expects Russia’s GDP to grow 2.2% in 2023, a sharp increase from its April prediction of 0.7% and July projection of 1.5%.

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