EBRD sees Russian economy growing 3% in 2022, notes sanctions risk

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FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the skyline of the capital Moscow in Russia

MOSCOW – The Russian economy will grow 3.0% in 2022 after expanding 4.3% this year, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development said on Thursday, pointing to geopolitical risks that could cloud the economic outlook.

The Russian economy has already recovered to pre-pandemic levels after its sharpest contraction in 11 years of 3% in 2020. But it may now face headwinds from a possible drop in prices for oil, its main export, and numerous interest rate hikes.

In a report on regional economic prospects, EBRD said the Russian economy is boosted by social spending programmes that are facilitated by higher commodity revenues. But forecasts are subject to a number of risks.

It pointed at “geopolitical tensions, notably the risk of further sanctions, and volatility in oil and gas prices and demand.”

EBRD’s forecasts are in line with those of the Russian central bank that expects gross domestic product to grow by 4.0-4.5% in 2021 and by 2.0-3.0% a year in 2022-2024.

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EBRD provided the following forecasts for Russia and other countries:

(For graphic on EBRD economic forecasts – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/jnvwexgodvw/EBRD_forecasts_nov21.jpg)

(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh, Editing by William Maclean)