Russia's struggling economy
Russia is one of the so-called BRIC countries, the four major emerging markets. It is also considered to be one of the fastest growing economies, being one of the world’s leading producers and exporters of oil, natural gas, metals, wood, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures.
In 2015, Russia reported an estimated gross domestic product of about 1.18 billion U.S. dollars, making it one of the countries with the largest gross domestic product in the world. Due to its fast economic expansion, it is also predicted that Russia will have the sixth largest gross domestic product in the world by 2030.
Despite a growing economy, Russia's unemployment rate has remained high in recent years. In 2010, the unemployment rate in Russia was at 7.3 percent, and after a slight plunge, it is expected to reach similar heights in the next few years again. Inflation has also increased rapidly in recent years, in 2015, it is expected to double in comparison to 2014, reaching approximately 18 percent - the highest inflation rate of the decade. 2015 is also marked by a large decline of Russia's gross domestic product: Between 2014 and 2015, GDP decreased by almost 5 thousand U.S. dollars. It is, however, expected to recover until 2020. Despite a trade deficit in the services sector from 2003 to 2013, the services sector in Russia has employed yearly over 55 percent of the workforce since 1999.