Economic growth continues to slow down
Economic growth slowed down significantly due to external factors and amounted to only 1.2% in 2019. High uncertainty about future supply conditions for Russian crude oil and gas, as well as ongoing structural problems, further dampen future growth prospects: the forecasts for 2020 (0.9%) and 2021 (0.5%) remain at a similarly low level.
Consumer prices have grown by 4.7% in 2019, which is in line with the National Bank’s inflation target. The exchange rate remained fairly stable and international reserves reached a historic high of USD 9.4 bn in December 2019. External factors and higher wage expenditure in the run-up to the elections increased the pressure on the public budget and led to a higher budget deficit. Foreign trade was particularly weak; especially exports were unable to continue their posi-tive trend and contracted by 2.9% in 2019.