PM Dmitry Medvedev: Russian economy needs 'warming up' this year

16:03 | 21/06/2019 Global Economy

The Russian government needs to take more steps this year to accelerate the country's economic growth, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday (June 19).

Illstrative image - Russian consumer demand is slowing down.

"We need additional measures to warm up the economy somewhat this year," Medvedev said at a meeting with senior government officials, according to an official transcript.

"I am sure that further increasing investment in national projects will have its effect in the future, but we need to think about what is happening right now this year," he said.

President Vladimir Putin signed a decree in May 2018 for Russia's roadmap of strategic development for the period up to 2024, aiming to make the country one of the five largest economies in the world, with economic growth rates higher than the global average.

To this end, it is necessary to significantly increase labor productivity, business activity, and non-oil exports, including exports of machinery, equipment, agricultural products and services, Medvedev told his cabinet.

He said the implementation of these tasks may prove to be difficult considering the current situation that Russia's gross domestic product growth declined to 0.5 percent in the first quarter this year from 2.3 percent in 2018.

Medvedev said there were objective reasons behind the slower growth, including the instability of markets, the slowdown of the global economy, the caution of investors, low consumer demand, sanctions and the unfolding trade frictions.

The financial and economic bloc of the government must take these risks into account and prepare adequate measures to reduce them, he said.

Following Putin's "May decree," the government outlined a dozen national strategic development projects for 2019-2024 with a total value of RUB25.7 trillion (some US$402 billion).

Theo NDO/Xinhua