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Back in business? Moscow economy almost back to normal as capital lifts lockdown

Back in business? Moscow economy almost back to normal as capital lifts lockdown
After just one week of post-lockdown life, economic activity in Moscow is almost back to normal, with trade and services turnover reaching 98 percent of pre-pandemic levels in the Russian capital.

“Since the beginning of the month, we have seen a steady and positive dynamic in the city’s business activity,” said Vladimir Efimov, Deputy Mayor of Moscow. “Business support measures and the phased removal of restrictions have allowed entrepreneurs to quickly return to work, fulfilling all safety requirements for their employees and customers. In some areas, business turnover increased significantly in just a week.”

According to Efimov, turnover jumped 4.2 percent in the second week of June, to reach 24.5 billion rubles – equivalent to 98 percent of Moscow’s business activity level prior to the self-isolation measures.

The Moscow mayor’s official site attributed the rapid restoration of business activity to the balanced structure of the city's economy, along with supportive measures adopted by Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. The capital has introduced multiple anti-crisis packages aimed at boosting the local business outlook, including rent deferrals, tax breaks, and subsidies.

Figures published by Russia's Central Bank have also shown encouraging signs for the county's post-crisis recovery. In a dataset published in June, 13 percent of Russians said their wages had returned to pre-coronavirus levels over the preceding month. Overall, 65 percent of those surveyed reported that their financial situation is now the same as before Covid-19.

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Moscow's emergence from self-isolation took another step on June 16 with the re-opening of restaurant verandas, as well as dental clinics, libraries, and certain other establishments. The next phase will occur on June 23, when cafes and restaurants return to normal, and fitness clubs can open.

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