Russia has spent half of $480 billion crisis package

By Reuters Staff
September 16, 2009

The Kremlin's top economic aide Arkady Dvorkovich talks to Reuters in Moscow September 15, 2009.  By Anastasia Onegina, Toni Vorobyova and Lidia Kelly
MOSCOW, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Russia has spent more than half of the 15 trillion roubles ($480 billion) it has allocated to fight the economic crisis that hit the country a year ago, according to Reuters calculations based on Kremlin documents.

Excluding collateral-free loans and deposits that have already been paid back, the spending to date stands at $240 billion.

The vast majority of the state spending, or 6.6 trillion roubles, came in the first six months of the crisis, which saw the rouble weaken by a third and halted production as demand and capital deteriorated.

Russia’s good economic fortunes that brought growth of more than 7 percent between 2003 and 2007, swiftly reversed into a recession, which saw gross domestic product shrinking by 10.1 percent in the first half of 2009.

The Kremlin’s top economic adviser, Arkady Dvorkovich, told Reuters’ Russia Investment Summit that the government’s anti-crisis programme has tamed the
economic decline and that the effects of federal support should be visible this quarter.

Dvorkovich said the current measures are sufficient to help lift the economy out of the crisis but the government is ready to spend more if the situation
deteriorates.

The economy showed some signs of month-on-month growth in the summer but most officials have said it is premature to call the trend sustainable.

According to the Kremlin documents, the major responsibility to aid the economy has shifted from the central bank to the government, which has allocated
2.4 trillion roubles in its 2009 budget for the anti-crisis measures.

(For other news from the Reuters Russia Investment Summit, please click here.)

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