Economy of Russia

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Russia > Map Economy History

Economy - overview: A decade after the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia is still struggling to establish a modern market economy and achieve strong economic growth. In contrast to its trading partners in Central Europe - which were able to overcome the initial production declines that accompanied the launch of market reforms within three to five years - Russia saw its economy contract for five years, as the executive and legislature dithered over the implementation of many of the basic foundations of a market economy. Russia achieved a slight recovery in 1997, but the government's stubborn budget deficits and the country's poor business climate made it vulnerable when the global financial crisis swept through in 1998. The crisis culminated in the August depreciation of the ruble, a debt default by the government, and a sharp deterioration in living standards for most of the population. The economy rebounded in 1999 and 2000, buoyed by the competitive boost from the weak ruble and a surging trade surplus fueled by rising world oil prices. This recovery, along with a renewed government effort in 2000 to advance lagging structural reforms, have raised business and investor confidence over Russia's prospects in its second decade of transition. Yet serious problems persist. Russia remains heavily dependent on exports of commodities, particularly oil, natural gas, metals, and timber, which account for over 80% of exports, leaving the country vulnerable to swings in world prices. Russia's agricultural sector remains beset by uncertainty over land ownership rights, which has discouraged needed investment and restructuring. Another threat is negative demographic trends, fueled by low birth rates and a deteriorating health situation - including an alarming rise in AIDS cases - that have contributed to a nearly 2% drop in the population since 1992. Russia's industrial base is increasingly dilapidated and must be replaced or modernized if the country is to achieve sustainable economic growth. Other problems include widespread corruption, capital flight, and brain drain.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $1.12 trillion (2000 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 6.3% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $7,700 (2000 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture:  7%
industry:  34%
services:  59% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 38.7% (1998)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 20.6% (2000 est.)
Labor force: 66 million (1997)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 15%, industry 30%, services 55% (1999 est.)
Unemployment rate: 10.5% (2000 est.), plus considerable underemployment
Budget:
revenues:  $40 billion
expenditures:  $33.7 billion (2000 est.)
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; 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: 8.8% (2000 est.)
Electricity - production: 798.065 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel:  66.31%
hydro:  19.79%
nuclear:  13.9%
other:  0% (1999)
Electricity - consumption: 728.2 billion kWh (1999)
Agriculture - products: grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, vegetables, fruits; beef, milk
Exports: $105.1 billion (2000 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: US 8.8%, Germany 8.5%, Ukraine 6.5%, Belarus 5.1%, Italy 5%, Netherlands 4.8% (1999)
Imports: $44.2 billion (2000 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, consumer goods, medicines, meat, grain, sugar, semifinished metal products
Imports - partners: Germany 13.8%, Belarus 10.7%, Ukraine 8.3%, US 7.9%, Kazakhstan 4.6%, Italy 3.8% (1999)
Debt - external: $163 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $8.523 billion (1995)
Currency: 1 Russian ruble (RUR) = 100 kopeks

SOURCE: The World Factbook

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Russia > Map Economy History