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17

Economy Growth May Resume in Q4 2009

The economy will contract throughout 2009 but may show the first signs of growth in the fourth quarter because of the ruble devaluation, a poll of 14 economists showed Friday

The economy is expected to contract by 2.5 percent, close to the government's forecast of 2.2 percent, but analysts expected growth of 0.2 percent in the final quarter, median forecasts showed.

"The policy of gradual devaluation of the ruble should bring results in six to nine months through substitution of imports in food processing, manufacturing and construction," said Yelena Sharipova from Renaissance Capital.

Sharipova said she expected 3.3 percent growth in the fourth quarter and that higher oil prices toward the end of the year as well as comparatively weak growth in the fourth quarter of 2008 would also contribute.

The forecasts varied significantly, however, and some projections were much gloomier.

"The economic contraction will soon get a new kick from a sharp fall in consumer demand and investment," said Igor Nikolayev from FBK, who forecast a 10 percent contraction for the year, including a 7 percent slump in the fourth quarter.

"The way out of the current situation would be a cut in the budget deficit to 3 to 4 percent of the gross domestic product and a transition to inflation targeting with a target of 5 to 7 percent inflation," said Maxim Oreshkin, from Rosbank.

Source: The Moscow Times

Author: Ksenia Kochneva