Dr Alexander Razuvayev is the chief analyst of the Alpari forex traders:
"True, the backdrop of global economic instability and the Eurozone’s debt crisis make Russian economic figures look really good. Spurred by fears over Syria, the oil price is soaring, making for a reduction of Russia’s deficit and adding strength to the Russian rouble."
Even based on a lower oil price, this year’s deficit was expected to amount to just 1.5% of the GDP.
We have an opinion from Professor Dmitry Sorokin of the Russian government’s Financial University:
"Our deficit figure is way lower than those in the United States and the leading European economies. Combined with our vast financial reserves, this should allow us to somewhat ease our monetary policy and raise the deficit ceiling in order to stimulate investment. At least so says the Russian Economy Ministry."
The reserves mentioned by Dr Sorokin amount to half a trillion US dollars, which is more than has been amassed by all the other post-Soviet states combined. Greater spending is indeed an option.
Associate Professor Vladimir Sokolov lectures at Moscow’s High Economic School:
"Russia’s plans to sharply step up its expenditure on defence by no means threaten its innovation programmes. In the US, for instance, defence spending usually drives innovation in many areas. I believe Russia is no different in this respect."
In 2012, Russia’s inflation was kept to a moderate 6.6%. The year 2013 should bring an even lower inflation figure. Officials also speak about a reverse of the capital flight.