December 16, 2013 / 5:16 AM / in 4 years

World Bank cuts Russia's short-term GDP growth forecast

MOSCOW, Dec 16 (Reuters) - The World Bank has cut is forecast for Russia’s gross domestic product growth for this and next year, citing low investment and weaker than expected consumer demand, both major drivers of the country’s economy.

The World Bank said it was cutting its 2013 GDP forecast to 1.3 percent from 1.8 percent, and to 2.2 percent from 3.1 percent for 2014.

The revisions are the latest in a series of GDP growth forecast downgrades for Russia that includes cuts by the Ministry of Economic Development and the International Monetary Fund in their estimates.

The World Bank envisages 2015 GDP growth at 2.7 percent.

“The Bank expects that investment activities will slowly pick up, as the destocking cycle comes to an end and consumption growth will level out,” Birgit Hansl, the Bank’s lead economist for Russia, said in the statement dated Dec. 13.

The bank also warned that increasing debt burden of the average Russians, to more than 25 percent of total disposable income, puts pressures on consumption. (Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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