Russian Economy is Growing

The Russian economy is growing, very slowly granted, and at a rate of only 0.5% annually. Still, this is a lot better than the 3.7% drop they suffered in 2015 (World Bank figures….the article says 2.8%): https://www.yahoo.com/news/russias-gdp-grows-0-5-percent-q1-state-134712641.html

Not only was their economy dropping, but not surprising, they were running significant budget deficits ($21 billion in 2016, or 3% of GDP) and their cash reserves were running low (National Wealth Fund had $72.71 billion as of September 2016). Much of this decline was driven by the price of oil and secondarily, by the limited sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union (and the counter-sanctions issued by Russia). These sanctions are still in place and the price of oil is not something the Russians have control over. I don’t see the sanctions being lifted anytime soon, so Russian economic growth is dependent as the price of oil staying stable or moving up. Putin is up for re-election to his fourth term in March 2018 for a six-year term, so a stable economy would be helpful, although few doubt the outcome of the election. Growth after a recession can sometimes be strong, for example the U.S. economy grew at 2.5% in 2010 after 18 months negative growth. The Russian recovery at 0.5% is a little anemic.

The ruble is at 57 to a dollar.

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
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Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
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His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
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Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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