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Market brief – Russian economic overview

This market brief was redacted in 2016 by Swiss Center Samara Sàrl and its affiliates. It relies on both official statistics and specialist’s estimates. It aims at giving a brief overview of the key socio-economic figures in Russia and more specifically in the Volga Federal District.


After a sustained period of growth, Russia has been facing an economic crisis due to the fall in energy prices, the devaluation of the ruble and the geopolitical conflict against EU and the USA (sanctions and embargo). This series of events led to a drop of the investments, a limited access to corporate credits and a rise of the inflation. The population in turn saw its net revenues decrease as well as its purchase power, thus widening the gap between rich and poor to the detriment of a struggling middle-class. For the past months however, ruble seems to have a found a new stability and several independent experts announce a return to growth for next year, pinpointing the positive effect the crisis had on the financial situation of the surviving companies and the increase in certain industrial fields.

In terms of population, Russia is the largest country in Europe and it is the world's ninth most populated country in the world. The population is highly concentrated in urban zones and 78% live in the European part of Russia. The districts of Moscow and Saint-Petersburg alone represent 36% of the 143.6 million Russians counted in 2015.

The Volga Federal District (VFD), which represents 20% of the population, is an important economic, scientific and industrial center of the Russian Federation. It hosts 16 of the top 100 universities of the country and counts numerous both national and international industrial companies in automotive, energy, chemicals & petrochemicals, aerospace, ICT, medtech, and several others.

As of December 1, 2015, the average disposable household income in the administrative units of the VFD was 25’322 rubles (about CHF 390.-).

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Market brief – Russian economic overview
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Nicolas Waefler
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