Russian GDP growth to hit 3.5% – Putin

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The president has praised the country’s economic performance in his annual address

The Russian economy has shown strength and stability in the face of outside pressure, with GDP expected to reach 3.5% this year, President Vladimir Putin stated on Thursday.

According to Putin, who is holding his annual press conference in Moscow, the economy has recovered from last year’s decline and is moving forward.

There are challenges still facing the Russian economy, according to the president, with inflation expected to accelerate to 8% by the end of the year. “But the central bank and the government are taking measures to return it to target levels,” Putin stated.

The president noted the confident growth of industrial production, at 3.6%. “What is particularly pleasing is that the manufacturing industry is growing,” he said.

According to Putin, Russia’s external public debt has decreased from $46 billion to $32 billion. Private companies are also paying off their debts on time, he added.

The Russian leader also noted that unemployment in Russia dropped to a historic low of 2.9%. “This has never happened in the history of Russia. This a very good indicator of the state of the economy.” 

Real wages in Russia will continue to grow to the end of 2023, increasing approximately 8%, while the growth of real incomes of the population will be at around 5% by the end of the year, according to Putin.

READ MORE: Russian unemployment hits historic low – data

The president also spoke about the increase in the minimum wage in Russia from the beginning of 2024. “When I talked about increasing real incomes, I must mention, of course, that from January 1, we will have the minimum wage increased by 18%,” noting that such indexations don't happen often enough.

The Russian president is hosting his annual press conference on live TV, during which both journalists and the general public can ask him questions. The two-in-one event, called ‘Results of the Year’, combines Putin’s annual press conference and his Q&A session with the people, which are usually held separately.

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