Russian economy battered by Covid-19
Russia’s industrial output fell by 6.6 percent in April compared to the previous year, dampened by the country’s coronavirus lockdown, according to the state statistics agency Rosstat.
Russia imposed a “non-working” period across the country at the end of April which “served as the decisive factor in lowering industrial output,” Rosstat said in a statement, AFP reports.
Industries were delivered a double blow as president Vladimir Putin ordered companies to stop work activities but continue paying salaries.
At the same time, “consumer demand fell for a range of goods and services,” the agency said.
Russia’s commodities sector only decreased by 3.2 percent year on year, and oil production actually grew by 0.2 percent, the agency said, noting that for many of those companies ceasing activity was not possible.
The automotive sector was the worst-hit, plummeting by 79.2 percent, while the pharmaceutical industries showed growth of 13.5 percent year on year.
Each month in lockdown could cost Russia between 20 and 30 percent of monthly growth, according to calculations by the ING.
The Central Bank last month predicted that Russian economy would shrink by up to six percent in 2020.
Russia’s Audit Chamber predicts that the number of unemployed will grow from 2.5 million to eight million this year.