Home About Russia The Basics Russia facts: Economy
Last update on January 11, 2020

In this Russian factbook guide, take an in-depth look at the economy in Russia.

Russian economy

Russia has undergone significant changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union, moving from a globally-isolated, centrally-planned economy to a more market-based and globally-integrated economy. Economic reforms in the 1990s privatized most industry, with notable exceptions in the energy and defence-related sectors. Nonetheless, the rapid privatization process, including a much criticized “loans-for-shares” scheme that turned over major state-owned firms to politically-connected “oligarchs”, has left equity ownership highly concentrated. The protection of property rights is still weak and the private sector remains subject to heavy state interference.

Russian industry and agriculture

Russian industry is primarily split between globally-competitive commodity producers – Russia in 2009 became the world’s largest exporter of both oil and natural gas and is also the third largest exporter of steel and primary aluminium – and other less competitive heavy industries that remain dependent on the Russian domestic market. This reliance on commodity exports makes Russia vulnerable to boom and bust cycles that follow the highly volatile swings in global commodity prices. The government since 2007 has embarked on an ambitious program to reduce this dependency and build up the country’s high technology sectors, but with few results so far.

A revival of Russian agriculture in recent years has led to Russia shifting from being a net grain importer to a net grain exporter. The economy had averaged 7% growth since the 1998 Russian financial crisis, resulting in a doubling of real disposable incomes and the emergence of a middle class. The Russian economy, however, 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. The Central Bank of Russia spent one-third of its $600 billion international reserves, the world’s third largest, in late 2008 to slow the devaluation of the rouble. The government also devoted $200 billion in a rescue plan to increase liquidity in the banking sector and aid Russian firms unable to roll over large foreign debts coming due. The economic decline appears to have bottomed out in mid-2009 and by the second half of the year there were signs that the economy was growing, albeit slowly. Long-term challenges include a shrinking workforce, a high level of corruption, and poor infrastructure in need of large capital investment.

Russian economic statistics

GDP (purchasing power parity): USD 2,117 trillion (2009 est.); USD 2,298 trillion (2008); USD 2,176 trillion (2007)

GDP (official exchange rate): USD 1,232 trillion (2009 est.)

GDP – real growth rate: -7,9 percent (2009 est.); 5,6 percent (2008); 8,1 percent (2007)

GDP – per capita (PPP): USD 15,200 (2009 est.); USD 16,300 (2008); USD 15,400 (2007)

GDP – composition by sector: agriculture 5,2 percent; industry 37 percent; services 57,9 percent (2009 est.)

Labour force: 75,81 million (2009 est.)

Labour force – by occupation: agriculture 10 percent; industry 31,9 percent, services 58,1 percent (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate: 8,9 percent (2009 est.); 6,5 percent (2008)

Population below poverty line: 15,8 percent (November 2007)

Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10 percent: 1,9 percent; highest 10 percent: 30,4 percent (September 2007)

Distribution of family income – Gini index: 42,3 (2008); 39,9 (2001)

Investment (gross fixed): 20 percent of GDP (2009)

Budget: revenues USD 205,3 billion; expenditures USD 306,6 billion

Public debt: 6,9 percent of GDP (2009); 6,5 percent of GDP (2008)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 11,9 percent (2009 est.); 14,1 percent (2008 est.)

Central bank discount rate: 13 percent (31 December 2008); 10 percent (31 December 2007)

Stock of domestic credit: USD 367,2 billion (31 December 2008); USD 339,1 billion (31 December 2007)

Market value of publicly traded shares: USD 397,2 billion (31 December 2008 est.); USD 1,503 trillion (31 December 2007); USD 1,057 trillion (31 December 2006 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; defence 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: -11 percent (2009 est.)

Electricity production: 1,04 trillion kWh (2008)

Electricity consumption:  1,023 trillion kWh (2008)

Electricity exports: 20,7 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity imports: 3,105 billion kWh (2008)

Oil production: 9,81 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil consumption: 2,8 million bbl/day (2008 est.)

Oil exports: 4,93 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil imports: 48,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)

Proved oil reserves: 79 billion bbl (1 January 2009 est.)

Natural gas production: 662,2 billion cu m (2008 est.)

Natural gas consumption:  420,2 billion cu m (2008 est.)

Natural gas exports: 245 billion cu m (2008)

Natural gas imports: 56,9 billion cu m (2008)

Proved natural gas reserves: 43,3 trillion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)

Current account balance: USD 42,08 billion (2009 est.); USD 102,4 billion (2008 est.)

Exports: USD 295,6 billion (2009 est.); 471,6 billion (2008)

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 12.2%, Italy 9%, Germany 6.9%, Turkey 5.9%, Ukraine 5%, China 4.5%, Poland 4.3% (2008)

Imports: USD 196,8 billion (2009 est.); USD 291,9 billion (2008 est.)

Imports commodities: vehicles, machinery and equipment, plastics, medicines, iron and steel, consumer goods, meat, fruits and nuts, semi finished metal products

Imports partners: China 12.9%, Germany 12.6%, Japan 6.9%, Ukraine 6%, US 5.1%, Italy 4.1% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold: USD 439 billion (31 December 2009 est.); USD 427,1 billion (31 December 2008)

External debt: USD 369 billion (31 December 2009 est.); 483,5 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of direct foreign investment (at home): USD 255,6 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange rates: Russian roubles (RUB) per US dollar – 32 (2009 est.), 24.853 (2008), 25.581 (2007), 27.191 (2006), 28.284 (2005)

CIA Factbook / Expatica