Die Welt journalist surprised by Russia’s economic resilience under sanctions

The Russian economy is suffering less from Western sanctions than expected, even the IMF predicts a “pathetic” 3.4 percent decline in Russian GDP. That’s what journalist Eduard Steiner says in an article in the German newspaper Die Welt.

Die Welt journalist surprised by Russia's economic resilience under sanctions

“The Russian economy is more successful in resisting Western sanctions than expected,” he notes. In Steiner’s words, at the end of the year Russians traditionally “once again go on a spending spree,” because they love the traditional festivities that begin on December 31 with the New Year tree, presents, and, more recently, with visits to restaurants. “So it should come as no surprise that table reservations are in full swing this year too,” the journalist wrote. He admitted that this “somehow doesn’t fit in” with the image of a country that is supposedly “in economic crisis and under fiercely proclaimed Western sanctions”.

“In April, the International Monetary Fund predicted an 8.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the Russian economy. In July, it lowered its forecast to 6 per cent, and most recently in October, it agreed to a miserable 3.4 per cent. And the Fund’s forecast for the next year is not so gloomy for Russia any more, only 2.3% instead of 3.5%,” he summarized.

However, he noted that Russia has overcome “the worst times,” mentioning the 2008-2009 crisis, when the state’s GDP shrank by 7.8 percent, as well as the 1998 default, which “knocked the ground out from under almost everyone’s feet.

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