Russia's economy expanded by 1.6% in Q1 (consensus was for 1.2% growth), marking the fifth...

|By:, SA News Editor

Russia's economy expanded by 1.6% in Q1 (consensus was for 1.2% growth), marking the fifth straight quarter of decelerating growth. As in Japan, business investment is weakening even as private consumption remains steady. The problem: demand for commodity exports from the world's largest energy exporter is flagging amid a seemingly intractable recession in the eurozone — the currency bloc accounts for ~50% of Russian trade. Russian stocks (RSX), which are the cheapest among 21 EMs according to Bloomberg, are trading 1.8% higher but are still off ~5% YTD.