Growth on all levels
For quite some time now, the end-of-year balance of the Russian economy has been a highly positive one. Back in the year 2005, the Russian economy had a growth rate of 6.4 percent to show for, thereby checking in with four times that of the European Union (1.5 percent for example. And in 2006, that positive trend, ongoing for some seven years now, has intensified even further.
Offering high energy prices and exports as the only explanation for such growth would be too simple and off the reality mark. Much rather, private consumption and investments in plant and equipment have also been on the rise, and distinctly so. With the Russian consumers’ growth in purchasing power, demand for consumer goods has grown as well, and Russian production companies have increased their investment activities as a result: after investments going up by 10 percent in 2005, the estimated 11 percent plus in 2006 can be expected to mark yet another upward step.
In view of such favorable market conditions, it can hardly come as a surprise that the Russian Federation continues to become an ever more interesting market for foreign investors as well, meanwhile having become one of the most attractive countries worldwide. In the World Banks’ outlook, a regular investment boom can even be expected. Pertinent figures recently published by the Russian Bureau of Statistics can only support that expectation: foreign direct investments into the Russian market came to approx. 13 billion (13,000 million) US Dollars in 2005, in other words no less than an impressive 18 percent over and above the comparative level achieved a year earlier.