Russia: Ongoing Strong Economic Growth Overshadowed by High Inflation
Russian economic growth in 2007 again was driven by strong private consumption and investment, grew by double-digit rates. The roles of budget expenditures and borrowing of private and state-owned firms from abroad in financing investments increased rapidly. Russian inflation climbed again; it was driven up by increases in food prices in line with rising food prices around the world. Inflation pressures had sharpened through more budget spending and scheduled rate increases for electricity and gas as well as for regulated prices for municipal services. Broad money supply (M2) rose rapidly because of strong foreign currency inflows, too. Central bank seeks to bring inflation under control by tightening monetary policy this year. That will somewhat dampen economic growth, but nevertheless GDP growth in the near future will remain at high levels.