Soaring imports: boon or bane?

Russian imports from non-CIS countries soared more than 50% in the first quarter of 2008, compared with the same period a year ago. Russia brought in $ US 47 billion of goods year-on-year, according to the Federal Customs Service. Some experts believe it’

Machinery and clothes jumped around 60%, chemical products 34% and food more than 12%.  

Analysts attribute the rise to growing consumer affluence and the country's booming investment climate.

Vladimir Bragin, a macroeconomist from Trust Bank is not optimistic about the news.

“For economy in general, it’s not a good sign because when consumption goes not supported by internal production it is a clear sign of overheating of economy. If things develop this way, I think in two or three years we’ll have 0% net exports just because of growing imports,” he says.