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At the start of the year, the dollar was trading at around 61.7 rubles – a figure that’s now risen to 78.1. In greenback terms, that means any savings in rubles have depreciated by around 26 percent, making it much more expensive for Russians to travel abroad to most places.
On the plus side, with a weaker ruble, it is much cheaper for foreign countries to buy Russian goods, and some businesses may see their exports rise.
This year, the ruble has become one of the worst currencies in emerging markets, due to falling global oil prices and fears of new US and EU sanctions. In recent weeks, that fear has been exacerbated, following the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, and US poll results showing the increased probability of a Joe Biden victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) improved Russia’s economic forecast. In June, mainly due to Covid-19, the IMF predicted that the economy would contract by 6.6 percent – a figure it has now improved to 4.1 percent. Despite growth being below zero, Russia is actually projected to do better than the world as a whole, with the IMF predicting a 4.4 percent contraction.
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