MOSCOW, Feb 05 (AFP): Russia's economic growth slowed to 1.3 per cent last year, the state statistics agency said Monday, emphasising the challenge the Kremlin faces as it boosts spending to stir the economy from its lethargy.
Russia's economy, long battered by Western sanctions and highly dependent on high prices for its energy exports, slowed considerably from the 2.5 per cent growth registered in 2018 and failed to meet even the government's forecast of an increase of 1.4 per cent.
Sluggish economic growth and five years of falling real incomes highlight the challenge the government faces as President Vladimir Putin, whose popularity among Russians has been due in no small part to a period of prosperity he oversaw in the 2000s, has set a target of having Russian the economy outpace the rest of the world next year.
Citing preliminary data, the Rosstat statistics agency said that GDP last year was 109.3 trillion rubles ($1.7 trillion).
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