By Jason Galanis
Industrial production in Russia experienced a slowdown last month, declining below averages last seen in 2014. On Monday, the nation’s federal statistic service published the data that further illustrated a marked slowdown within the nation’s economy.
RosStat data revealed January’s industrial production grew only 0.9 percent from figures last seen in January 2014—a slowdown. December’s data revealed the growth rate at 3.9 pct, while 2014’s industrial production growth rate rose 1.7 percent.
When adjusted, the data showed a 1.8 percent decline from last month’s industrial production rate.
The data naturally revealed the so-called elephant in the room: Russia’s economy is trending toward its biggest recession in nearly six years.
Weak oil prices, a weakening ruble and ongoing Western sanctions have all but completely ravaged the Russian economy, forcing its citizens to adjust to a depreciating currency. The weakened economy also spurred more inflation and heightened outflows of capital within the nation.
January’s data is only the beginning of what would illustrate that slowdown. It showed that much of that big contraction is hitting the nation’s manufacturing sectors associated with construction.
RosStat did reveal some good news. Russia bolstered their food production amid Western food import bans finally taking effect. Domestic food producers helped retailers fill their shelves with domestically curated food, helping food production figures rise for the past few months.
Meat production rose 20.9 percent, while cheese production increased as much as 35.1 percent. Production for canned vegetables also rose, increasing by as much as 47 percent.
Before the August Western food ban, Russia imported at least one-third of their food. However, the food ban and Western sanctions have helped the Russian food production, processing and agriculture industry flourish to its highest levels in years.
In other news, the ruble rallied for its second day in a row earlier this week. The struggling currency saw a modest 0.6 pct gain to rise 63.10 to the dollar by evening trading in Moscow late Monday.