Covid can’t hold back Russian economy – Putin
The Russian economy has proven to be better prepared for shocks related to the Covid-19 pandemic than other nations, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday during his annual end-of-year press conference in Moscow.
“Faced with the challenges of coronavirus infection and the necessary forced restrictions, our economy turned out to be more mobilized and ready for such shocks than many other developed economies in the world,” said the Russian president.
Putin added that other problems for the country remain, including rising inflation. He defended a series of aggressive rate hikes introduced by the Central Bank over the past year.
“You can ‘scold’ the regulator for raising rates. If we do not do this, Russia will face the same problems that Turkey is currently dealing with,” Putin said, referring to the extreme volatility of the Turkish lira in recent weeks after its central bank cut interest rates despite high inflation.
Last week, the Bank of Russia delivered its second 100-basis-point hike in interest rates this year, having warned that monetary tightening isn’t over yet. According to the regulator, a raft of factors from labor shortages to geopolitical tensions are complicating the current fight against rising inflation.
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On a positive note, Putin said Russia’s economy is continuing to recover from the pandemic and he expects the country’s GDP to grow by 4.5% this year and real incomes to rise by 3.5%.
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