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25 Jul, 2023 19:03

Russian real wages growing in double digits – Putin

Real wages have shown double-digit growth for the first time since 2018, Vladimir Putin says
Russian real wages growing in double digits – Putin

Russia is expected to demonstrate at least 2% GDP growth this year, alleviating the shrinking it experienced in 2022, President Vladimir Putin has said. Moreover, the real wages of the country’s citizens have recently seen double-digit growth, he said.

The president made the remarks on Tuesday during a meeting with top officials to discuss the country’s economy and issues it has been facing. Sectors such as manufacturing, retail, and construction have been demonstrating steady growth lately, Putin stated.

“Growth in these sectors, as well as a whole range of measures to support the economy, has had a positive effect on the state of the labor market,” he said.

“Unemployment rates are declining – now it is 3.2%. At the same time, real wages grew at double-digit rates for the first time since 2018 – for instance, by more than 10% in April,” he added.

Given the positive trends in Russia’s economy, the country is expected to demonstrate GDP growth of at least 2%, Putin said. The growth will alleviate the losses Russia suffered last year, when its GDP shrank by 2.1%, the president noted.

The shrinking came amid multiple waves of anti-Russian sanctions, rolled out by the collective West in the wake of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev.

In the first five months of this year, Russian GDP already rose by 0.5%. Still, the country’s economy remains in need of additional support, and an increase in state debt is also expected. The government believes additional borrowing is necessary, but it will work to contain the debt level to under 20% of GDP, according to Russian Deputy Finance Minister Irina Okladnikova.

“Generally, we now have a level of debt … at 22.8 trillion rubles ($251 billion) – this is 14.9% of GDP. This is our safe boundary, although we realize that, in the current situation, we will be forced to raise it. We will have to do it, because our expenditures are growing,” Okladnikova said last week during a meeting of the Federation Council Committee on Budget and Financial Markets.