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Russian Central Bank Forecasts Meager Growth For 2016

Russia's central bank has forecast meager growth for 2016, as the country's economy continues to be hobbled by low oil prices and Western sanctions.

The bank said in a statement published on August 8 that the economy grew by around 0.3 percent in the second quarter, and will grow by 0.4 percent and 0.5 percent in the third and fourth quarters.

That's still better than last year, when the economy shrank by 3.7 percent, as Russia went through its worst recession since President Vladimir Putin took office 16 years ago.

International experts have warned that even meager growth forecasts are optimistic. The International Monetary Fund has predicted gross domestic product will in fact shrink by 1.2 percent this year.

Sanctions imposed by the West following Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula have pinched Russia's economy, but continuing low global oil prices have inflicted more damage.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters