UPDATE 2-Russia 2011 capital flight at $80bln but no recession threat

Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:11pm EST

Related Topics

* Outflows forecast up to $80 bln from around $70 bln

* Capital flight seen at $20 bln in 2012

* Economy to expand by 4.2 pct in 2011

By Katya Golubkova and Sujata Rao

LONDON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Russia does not face the threat of economic recession in coming years and will see capital inflows starting from 2013 after bleeding some $80 billion this year, Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach said on Wednesday.

Klepach told the annual Adam Smith investment conference that original estimates of a 4.2 percent gross domestic product growth for 2011 are still unchanged, adding that eventually, after revising the actual data the domestic statictic service could report a 4.5 percent growth.

Klepach was the first government official who had predicted that the economic crisis of 2008-09 will push Russia into recession. However this time he is confident in better economic prospects despite ongoing European debt crisis.

"We don't see any potential in coming years for a boom in the economy. But that doesn't mean we will have a tendency towards recession," Klepach told an investment conference.

The recent Reuters economic poll showed that Russian economic growth is likely to slow down to 3.2 percent next year , but Klepach said the Economy Ministry still expects the country's GDP to expand by 3.7 percent.

"We see the next three years as a transition period of structural changes and corporate changes that should guarantee stable growth of around 4 percent a year," he added.

The growth and rising food prices along with the recent depreciation of the rouble are adding upside pressure to inflation this year but Klepach said he did not expect 2011 inflation to exceed the 7-percent official target.

CAPITAL FLOWS

Russia experienced net capital outflows of $64 billion in the first 10 months of 2011, which has raised doubts about the latest official full-year forecast of $70 billion, posing a challenge for the country before parliamentary elections in early December and presidential vote in March.

Klepach said the outflows this year are set to be higher than forecast earlier and could reach $80 billion, adding that the flight is likely to slow down in November compared to the two preceding months.

"The increase in global economic risks have also touched us and it's caused not only by uncertainties on world financial markets but also our own internal risks are caused by the election cycle," he said.

"We had expected capital flight to be no more than $30-40 billion but now it is more likely to be $80 billion... this tendency will stay in place until early 2012."

Klepach predicted that capital flight could total around $20 billion in 2012 before Russia will start receiving capital inflows of around $20-$30 billion a year in 2013-2014.

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