16 May 2009

Russian economy slows sharply

6:14 am on 16 May 2009

The economy of Russia contracted sharply in the first three months of the year, due to the global slowdown.

Federal State Statistics figures show economic output for the period to the end of March fell 23.2% compared with the previous quarter. Output dropped 9.5% on a year-on-year basis.

The economy had been growing due to high oil prices, which peaked at $US147.27 per barrel on 11 July last year. But since then, the price of oil, a key export, has fallen by more than half.

The BBC reports the latest figures for the first three months of the year confirm estimates released last month by the government.

Industrial output has slowed in the wake of the global economic slowdown, and investors have withdrawn significantly from Russia.