Russian Economy
Economy - overview: Russia has undergone significant changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union, moving from a globally-isolated, centrally-planned economy towards a more market-based and globally-integrated economy, but stalling as a partially reformed, statist economy with a high concentration of wealth in officials' hands. Economic reforms in the 1990s privatized most industry, with notable exceptions in the energy and defense-related sectors. The protection of property rights is still weak and the private sector remains subject to heavy state interference. Russia is one of the world's leading producers of oil and natural gas, and is also a top exporter of metals such as steel and primary aluminum. Russia's manufacturing sector is generally uncompetitive on world markets and is geared toward domestic consumption. Russia's reliance on commodity exports makes it vulnerable to boom and bust cycles that follow the volatile swings in global prices. The economy, which had averaged 7% growth during 1998-2008 as oil prices rose rapidly, was one of the hardest hit by the 2008-09 global economic crisis as oil prices plummeted and the foreign credits that Russian banks and firms relied on dried up. In 2014, economic growth declined further when Russia forcibly violated Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and interfered in Ukraine’s internal affairs. In the second half of 2014, the Russian ruble lost about half of its value, contributing to increased capital outflows that reached $151.5 billion for the year; the ruble remains volatile. Declining oil prices, lack of economic reforms, and the imposition of foreign sanctions have contributed to the downturn and created wide expectations the economy will continue to slump. In April 2015, the Russian Ministry of Economic Development predicted that the Russia’s economy will contract by 3% in 2015, and average only 2.5% growth through 2030.
GDP (purchasing power parity): $3.565 trillion (2014 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate): $1.857 trillion (2014 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 0.6% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP): $24,800 (2014 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 4%
industry: 36.3%
services: 59.7% (2014 est.)
Labor force: 75.25 million (2014 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 9.7%
industry: 27.8%
services: 62.5% (2012)
Unemployment rate: 5.1% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 5.7%
highest 10%: 42.4% (2011 est.)
Investment (gross fixed): 20% of GDP (2009 est.)
Budget: revenues: $416.5 billion
expenditures: $408.3 billion (2014 est.)
Public debt: 13.4% of GDP (2014 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 11.4% (2014 est.)
Central bank discount rate: 17% (2014 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate: 11.3% (2014 est.)
Agriculture - products: grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, vegetables, fruits; beef, milk
Industries: complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; defense industries including radar, missile production, and advanced electronic components, shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical and scientific instruments; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, handicrafts
Industrial production growth rate: 0.6% (2014 est.)
Electricity - production: 1.054 trillion kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - consumption: 1.037 trillion kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - exports: 18.38 billion kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports: 4.704 billion kWh (2013 est.)
Oil - production: 10.11 million bbl/day (2014 est.)
Oil - consumption: 2.8 million bbl/day (2008 est.)
Oil - exports: 4.625 million bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - imports: 17,610 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves: 80 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
Natural gas - production: 578.7 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption: 409.2 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports: 201.9 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports: 24.2 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves: 47.8 trillion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
Current account balance: $57.41 billion (2014 est.)
Exports: $520.3 billion (2014 est.)
Exports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, wood and wood products, metals, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures
Exports - partners: Netherlands 13.7%, China 7.5%, Germany 7.5%, Italy 7.2%, Turkey 5% (2014)
Imports: $323.9 billion (2014 est.)
Imports - commodities: vehicles, machinery and equipment, plastics, medicines, iron and steel, consumer goods, meat, fruits and nuts, semifinished metal products
Imports - partners: China 17.8%, Germany 11.5%, US 6.6%, Italy 4.5%, Belarus 4.1% (2014)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: $385.5 billion (31 December, 2014 est.)
Debt - external: $599 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home: $606 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad: $533.5 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Exchange rates: Russian rubles (RUB) per US dollar - 67.7 (19 December 2014 est.), 32.73 (2013 est.), 30.84 (2012 est.), 29.382 (2011 est.), 30.368 (2010 est.)
economic climate  
Background: Russia's economy is making a rapid recovery after the global financial crisis. Economic growth for 2010 is forecast at five per cent (World Bank) and foreign trade leapt by 47 per cent in the first five months of 2010. The Russian Government has responded effectively to the international economic downturn, although the country still faces ongoing challenges to diversify its economic base and increase its competitiveness.
The Russian Federation is the world’s largest energy exporter, with enormous reserves of natural gas and oil. Today Russia has the world’s third largest gold and foreign currency reserves, valued at more than US$430 billion.
Russia’s key challenge is to effectively harness its wealth of natural resources, skilled workforce and infrastructure to build a broad and stable economic platform.
Export opportunities:  
Update: This page was last updated on 10 November 2015
Sources: 1. CIA, The World Factbook, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ae.html
2. http://www.austrade.gov.au
3. DIBNC Experts Team