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Russia Economic Growth Slowed to 3.4% Last Quarter on Production

Russia’s economy slowed in the second quarter as industrial-production growth eased.

Gross domestic product advanced 3.4 percent in the April-June period from a year earlier, matching the preliminary estimate, the Statistics Service in Moscow said in an e-mailed statement today. The growth rate compares with 4.1 percent in the first quarter.

Russia, the world’s largest energy exporter, is lagging behind emerging-market peers Brazil, India and China. Policy makers should target growth of at least 8 percent within 5 years to keep pace with the other so-called BRIC countries, President Dmitry Medvedev has said. GDP expanded 4 percent in 2010 after a record 7.8 percent contraction the previous year.

Industrial production advanced 4.8 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter, down from a 5.9 percent increase in the first three months, according to the statistics service. Natural-resources output fell while manufacturing grew. Urals crude, Russia’s chief export blend, fell 2.9 percent in the April-June period, its first quarterly decline in a year.

Oil and natural gas contribute about 17 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Every $10 shaved off the price of oil costs Russia about $25 billion in revenue and increases the budget deficit by 1.5 percent of GDP, Commerzbank AG estimated in an Aug. 12 report.

Bank Rossii left interest rates unchanged for a third month in August, citing a balance between risks from inflation and a slowing economy. Monetar policy makers plan to review interest rates at meeting on Sept. 14, RIA Novosti reported yesterday, citing an unidentified central bank official.

Russia’s economy may grow between 4.2 percent and 4.3 percent this year, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Sept. 5.

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