Russia's economy, an outlook
Less than one year ago, the inflation rate in Russia was as high as 16.7 percent compared to the same month the previous year, and in January of 2016, this rate was at its lowest point since 2015. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) also estimates that the Russian inflation rate will drop in 2016 to around 8.36 percent, which is still high, but a major improvement from 2015. Also, the economy of Russia contracted at a slower pace in the third quarter of 2015, and the IMF estimates that the economy will rebound in the coming years. This appears to give reason for some optimism with regards to the Russian economy and inflation, but it is also should be met with some caution.
The price of crude oil has continued to drop since June of 2014 and was at its lowest point in January of 2016. Russia’s economy - which is highly dependent on and affected by the price of oil - could disrupt positive expectations if the price continues to drop. Also, considering that Russia has become more and more conflictory on the international stage, there is still quite a bit of risk associated with whether or not Russia can avoid further international conflict and/or sanctions. Therefore, future optimism should be restrained.