Is the Bear Really Stagnating?

Over at The Economist, there are claims that "stagnation seems to be the most apt description of the Russian economy" since "year-on-year GDP growth [was] at just 1.2% last quarter."  Despite Russia's migration up the World Bank's "Doing Business" rankings, The Economist states that "Russia improved more in this year's report than any of its BRICS peers, but it was also the only one to see GDP growth slow significantly." When it comes to assessing the state of Russia's economy -- particularly compared to other members of the BRICS, we must look a little deeper than total GDP stats. Russia is the only member of the BRICS to have a declining population.  Last year alone, Russia's population declined by 0.3%.  Compare that to annual population increases of 0.5% in China, 0.8% in Brazil, 1.2% in South Africa, and 1.3% in India.  Over the next five years, Russia's population is expected to decline by nearly 2%. So what we are really interested...(Read Full Post)