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UPDATE 1-Russian economy to grow by up to 4.7% in 2021 -Putin

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MOSCOW, Nov 12 (Reuters) - The Russian economy was on track to post its strongest growth in 13 years and expand by 4.7% in 2021, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, voicing a more optimistic forecast than those of the central bank and the government.

The Russian oil-dependent economy has already recovered to pre-pandemic levels after falling 3% in 2020, its sharpest contraction in 11 years. But its further expansion may face headwinds from higher interest rates and external shocks.

“In 2021, according to our estimates, it [economic growth] will reach up to 4.7%. Certainly, it’s not the highest growth in the region but not the lowest. This is quite a good result for our economy,” Putin said.

Such economic growth would be the strongest since 2008 when Russia’s gross domestic product grew by 5.2% before falling by 7.8% next year.

The economy ministry has predicted 4.2% growth this year, while the central bank expects expansion of 4.0%-4.5% and then a slowing to 2.0%-3.0% in 2022. (Reporting by Darya Korsunskaya; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Alison Williams and Steve Orlofsky)

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