Economy growing but real incomes continue to fall

The Russian Federal Statistics Service announced data on social and economic development for 2017

Economy growing but real incomes continue to fall Photo: Lukas

The results of 2017 published by the Russian Federal State Statistics Service show that Russia is successfully getting out of the latest economic crisis trap: GDP and retail trade volume resumed growth, industrial and agricultural output continued to rise, and foreign trade turnover showed a double-digit increase last year. Meanwhile, for the population, life was not that bright as real incomes were still falling.

Russia's GDP grew by 1,6% in January-September 2017, reports EADaily citing the Russian Federal State Statistics Service. By comparison, in the same period of 2016, the indicator declined by 0,4%. The Russian stock market also has shown signs of recovery: investments in stock capital increased by 4,2% in the first nine months of 2017, while in January-September 2016 they fell by 0,9%.

Industrial output and agricultural production continued to increase, although the growth slowed down compared to 2016. Last year's grain harvest has been the record one for Russia, and the national agricultural output increased by 2,4% in 2017, but a year ago it showed a growth of 4,8%. As for industrial output, it added 1% last year, while in 2016 it grew by 1,3%.

The overall economic growth hasn't affected the lives of ordinary Russians: real incomes of the population continued to fall. The indicator plunged by 1,7%, although it is significantly less than in 2016 when real incomes decreased by 5,8%. Nonetheless, retail trade demonstrated growth for the first time in three years. It increased by 1,2%, showing that the population is close to overcoming the peak of the economic crisis.

In 2017, bilateral trade between Russia and Germany showed an increase for the first time since 2012. Photo: kremlin.ru

The most significant growth was seen in the foreign trade turnover, which amounted to $528,9bn due to rising oil prices and the strengthened ruble. These two factors led to a 25,1% increase in Russia's export and import compared to the previous year.

Earlier it was announced that Russia's bilateral trade with Germany rose for the first time in five years in 2017. In the first eleven months of 2017, German companies sold goods worth 24,1bn euros to Russia, with an especially strong demand for machinery and cars. In 2016, the volume amounted to 21,5bn euros for the whole year. Russia's export to Germany grew by 19% and totalled 28,6bn euros in January-November 2017. In 2012, German export to Russia stood at 38bn euros before the Russian-European relations have deteriorated.

By Anna Litvina