Russian Economy Shrinks Less Than Forecast as Stagnation Looms

Russia’s economy shrank the least since a contraction began at the start of last year.

Gross domestic product fell 0.4 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier after a decline of 0.6 percent in the previous three months, the Federal Statistics Service said Monday, citing preliminary data. The median of 21 estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for a drop of 0.5 percent. The Economy Ministry in Moscow had projected a 0.4 percent decrease.

The world’s biggest energy exporter is shaking off its longest slump under President Vladimir Putin after oil prices stabilized. The challenge now is to avoid a period of stagnation, with Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina warning on Monday the economy won’t grow faster than 2 percent without structural reforms.

— With assistance by Zoya Shilova, and Andrey Biryukov

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