Despite sweeping sanctions, Russia's economic outlook has improved since April — but it's gotten worse for almost every other country
- The IMF forecast Russia's economy to contract 6% this year — an improvement from its April forecast.
- Russia's crude-oil and energy exports have been holding up better than expected, said IMF.
Russia's economy is holding up better than expected amid sweeping sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, according to the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook report issued on Tuesday.
The IMF slashed growth forecasts for almost every country, but upgraded Russia's economic forecast — with the country's economy still contracting, but by 6% — an improvement from the IMF's April forecast of an 8.5% contraction.
That's because Russia's crude-oil and non-energy exports have been "holding up better than expected," the IMF wrote in its report. "In addition, domestic demand is also showing some resilience thanks to containment of the effect of the sanctions on the domestic financial sector and a lower-than-anticipated weakening of the labor market," added the IMF.
"That's still a fairly sizable recession in Russia in 2022," IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas told the AFP. And "there is no rebound" for Russia with the country's economy expected to contract by 3.5% in 2023 — down from IMF's April forecast of a 2.3% contraction, as sanctions gnaw their way through the economy, Gourinchas added to the news agency.
Overall, the IMF warned of a gloomy economic outlook with global growth likely to hit 3.2% this year — down from 6.1% in 2021 due to higher-than-expected inflation, a slowdown in China, and fallout from the war in Ukraine.
Europe's growth is weighed down by the possibility of a Russian natural-gas supply halt as countries in the region are heavily dependent on the fuel import. GDP growth for the euro-zone is expected to slow to 2.6% this year, down from 5.4% in 2021.
The US economy is also slowing sharply, with growth expected to reach 2.3% this year, down from 5.7% in 2021.
"The world may soon be teetering on the edge of a global recession, only two years after the last one," said Gourinchas.
The IMF typically publishes the World Economic Outlook forecasts twice a year. They are based on data and projections from 196 economies.
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