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Russia to become 5th largest economy overtaking Germany

The Russian economy has clearly weathered sanctions better than some Western politicians imagined. Despite years of international pressure and low oil prices, Russia will overtake Germany as the world's fifth largest economy.

Published: January 24, 2019, 6:39 am

    Even though Western-imposed forced the Russian economy into a recession in 2015, UK-based global bank Standard Chartered have rated Russia as one of the top performers.

    Because of “relatively low and stable inflation and increased oil production” Russia has been able to perform well while Germany has been slowing down. In 2018, the German economy grew by 1,5 percent, its slowest rate since 2013.

    Germany experienced a second straight quarterly contraction in Q4, sparking fears of a recession.

    In its projections for 2030 for the global economy, StanChart issued a report outlining the rise of China as the world’s largest economy overtaking the US. And high growth in Asia will, by 2030, eventually lead to seven of the world’s ten largest economies being Asian.

    The top five economies will soon be China, the US, India, Japan, and Russia, while the top ten will include Germany, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey, and the UK.

    “By 2020, a majority of the world population will be classified as middle class. Asia will lead the increase in middle-class populations even as middle classes stagnate in the West,” a Standard Chartered researcher noted.

    Not only StanChart are are up-beat about Russia’s economic prospects. The World Bank also indicated in its economic outlook that it expects GDP growth in Russia to accelerate to 1,8 percent in 2020 and 2021, compared with 1.6 percent in 2018, similar to that of the IMF. According to the IMF, the impact of rising oil prices will soften the effects of sanctions.

    Although Beijing is Moscow’s largest trading partner, Russia does not rank among China’s top ten importers. Strategically however, Russia is the most important contractor because it supplies oil.

    In 2017, Beijing became the largest importer of crude oil, overtaking the United States, with Chinese consumption approaching 13 million barrels per day. The PRC is expected to become the largest consumer of this raw material by 2025, accounting for 18-20 percent of global consumption.

    In 2016 already, Russia became China’s most important oil supplier, replacing Saudi Arabia. In 2009, countries such as Poland and the Netherlands imported more Russian crude than Beijing, but in 2015 they were overtaken by China.

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