Kudrin says Russian GDP up 8% in November

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin says Russia is putting the worst of the recession behind it with November GDP up 8% on October and 4Q 2009 Growth set to come in at 2%.

Speaking to the State Duma, Kudrin said GDP was down 9.1% year on year for the first 11 months of the year, but that a 1.1% year on year increase in 3Q 2009 and a 2% year on year increase tipped for 4Q 2009, the annual GDP slump could be limited to 8.5%, below the forecast 8.7%.

The Finance Minister added that “The key sectors, such as industry, already started growing in June and have continued expanding, with the exception of one month,” indicating that Russia’s worst slump since 1999 easing.

Kudrin added that the government has about $4.5 billion set aside "which will allow to quickly respond to any possible problems in the real economy next year," and that it had spent about 900 billion Roubles ($30 billion) of its 1.4 trillion anti-crisis fund as at November 1.

The comments come in the wake of the release data showing Russia’s first increase in industrial output for a year, in November, with unemployment holding steady at 7.7%, breaking the trend of worsening unemployment.

Kudrin added that the rebound could see Russia return to pre-crisis GDP levels earlier than many forecast.

“Russia’s GDP will return to pre-crisis levels in the fourth quarter of 2012. Not in 2015, or 20, but in 3 years. According to our estimates, we will start to grow above the pre-crisis levels in about three years. It will be a difficult period, in which we will have to solve all the problems that occurred before and during the crisis.”