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Russian Economic Growth Slowed to 2.9% in Third Quarter

Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s economic expansion slowed to 2.9 percent in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, matching the preliminary reading, as state spending and household consumption eased.

Government spending fell 0.4 percent in the third quarter compared with the same period of last year, the Federal Statistics Service in Moscow said today in an e-mailed statement. Household consumption, which accounts for about half of the Russian economy, expanded 6 percent, the service said. That’s less than the 6.6 percent pace in the second quarter.

Russia, the world’s largest energy exporter, has been counting on spending by consumers to keep the economy growing as Europe’s debt crisis hurts commodity demand. Analysts cut their forecasts for Russian growth to 3.4 percent next year, down from a median of 3.5 percent a month ago, according to a Bloomberg survey of 25 economists published yesterday.

“Demand isn’t growing as fast as it was before the crisis,” Natalia Orlova, chief economist at Alfa Bank in Moscow, said by telephone yesterday. “There was a fairly significant slowdown in retail sales growth in the second half compared with the first half of the year.”

Gross capital formation advanced 4.9 percent from a year earlier, slowing from 7 percent in the April-June period, the statistics service said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Scott Rose in Moscow at; Olga Tanas in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at

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