MOSCOW - The Russian economy has contracted in the first three months of 2015 because of low oil prices, weaker spending & sanctions from the West. It ' shrank ' by 1.9% between January & March compared with the previous year, according to the Russian statistics agency. That compares to annual growth of 0.4% in the previous quarter. President Vladimir Putin has said the government expects Russia's economy to start growing again ' next year '.
But the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development says that it expects the economy to ' contract ' by 4.5% in 2015 & 1.8% in 2016. The country has been hit hard by a sharp fall in oil prices in the past year, its main export, as well as by sanctions imposed by the West over the Ukraine crisis. " The best that can be said about Q1 GDP [first quarter gross domestic product] data from Russia is that the economy has avoided outright collapse & is, instead, merely on the cusp of recession," says Neil Shearing, chief emerging markets economist at Capital Economics.
"Though better than expected, this is still a painful fall for any economy," said Craig Botham, emerging markets economist at Schroders. " Further contraction seems inevitable given the lagged effect of monetary policy & the fiscal tightening underway, " he added. Meanwhile, the Russian central bank has extended anti-crisis measures aimed at helping banks that have suffered from the low value of the rouble & sanctions in Ukraine. It initiated the measures in December & initially intended to end them in July. Now, they will not do so until October. The value of the rouble has slumped 30% against the US dollar over the last 52-week period. The weak currency & inflation has hit spending in Russia.
NEWS REPORT : BBC
PROPHECY INSIGHTS - The Russian economy is on its knees !! Crippled by the effects of falling oil prices & the Western sanctions , Russia's economic woes are mounting , as the nation slides further into crisis. While Putin has managed to stave of " outright collapse " of his economy - in part due to substantial economic support from China - nevertheless , Russia's deteriorating situation will force Vladimir Putin to use his sole remaining strength ... the might of the Russian military !!! Written over 2,500 years ago , the Bible describes how God Himself will " put hooks into thy ( Gog's ) jaws " to ' drag ' the latter-day Russian tyrant forth into the Middle East " to take a spoil & to take a prey ". This brutal invasion , will not be a wilful choice by Gog , but will be born out of Russia's own financial desparation. But the prophet Ezekiel also reveals ' Gog ' seeing this impending economic crisis will have time ' to prepare ' his own nation & to gather all his company. As Russia continues to bolster its military & polarise the nations into two camps , the events we are seeing now are an ominous pre-cursor to these grave events soon to unfold.
EZEKIEL 38 v 3-8 - Thus saith the Lord GOD ; Behold , I am against thee , O Gog , the chief prince of Meshech & Tubal : And I will turn thee back & put ' hooks ' into thy jaws & I will bring thee forth & all thine army , horses & horsemen , all of them clothed with all sorts of armour , even ' a great company ' with bucklers & shields , all of them handling swords : Persia ( Iran ) , Ethiopia & Libya with them ; all of them with shield & helmet : Gomer & all his bands ; the house of Togarmah ( Turkey ) of the north quarters , & all his bands : & ' many people ' with thee. Be thou prepared & prepare for thyself , thou , & all thy company that are ' assembled unto thee ' & be thou ' a guard ' unto them. After many days thou shalt be visited : in the latter years thou shalt come into the land ( Israel ) that is brought back from the sword, & is gathered out of many people , against the mountains of Israel,